Edited by Robert Bayley, Dennis R. Preston and Xiaoshi Li
[Studies in Language Variation 28] 2022
► pp. 71–96
This chapter addresses stylistic and obligatory variation in third language (L3) argument realization patterns. It focuses on the effects of formal second language (L2) learning experience, typological proximity, and five linguistic factors (discourse type, clause type, verb type, NP animacy, NP person). A corpus analysis of L3 Korean spoken production demonstrates that the considered linguistic and developmental factors do influence spoken L3 variation patterns to a certain extent. However, for the early bilingual participants, the analysis found a strong influence of their first languages (L1s) on their L3 spoken production, particularly in associating animacy with case. This L1 influence overrides the benefits of formal L2 learning experience and typological proximity on variation patterns in accusative argument realization, which were found in a prior study of L3 writing (Park & Starr 2019). The findings imply that it may take longer to acquire target-like sociolinguistic competence in L3 speech than in L3 writing.