Chapter published in:Meaning and Structure in Second Language Acquisition: In honor of Roumyana Slabakova
Edited by Jacee Cho, Michael Iverson, Tiffany Judy, Tania Leal and Elena Shimanskaya
[Studies in Bilingualism 55] 2018
► pp. 181–202
Testing the predictions of the Scalpel Model in L3/Ln acquisition
The acquisition of null and overt subjects in L3 Chinese
The Scalpel Model (SM) (Slabakova, 2017) argues that neither the L1 nor the L2 has a privileged status in L3 acquisition so transfer can occur from either the L1 or the L2 and on a property-by-property basis. We tested these predictions by examining the acquisition of Chinese null and overt subjects by twenty-five L3 Chinese learners divided into two groups: L1 English-L2 Spanish-L3 Chinese learners and L1 English-L2 non-null subject language-L3 Chinese learners. Results from a Written Production Task and a Pronoun Interpretation Task showed transfer from both background languages but for different properties supporting that transfer can, indeed, be partial in L3 acquisition. We argue that existing structural similarities between the background and the target languages are important as well.
Keywords: L3 acquisition, transfer, null and overt subjects, Chinese
Published online: 16 November 2018
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Westergaard, M., Mitrofanova, N., Mykhaylyk, R., & Rodina, Y.
Cited by 1 other publications
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