[Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen 86] 2011
► pp. 35–46
Learners of English as a second language frequently make mistakes in their use of the L2. Prévost & White (2000) report that the Missing Surface Inflection Hypothesis (MSIH) suggests that learners know the underlying functional category, but cannot always produce the correct surface form. The present study aims to test this hypothesis by investigating the development of the simple past tense of pupils in bilingual (TTO) and regular secondary education. Therefore, first-form pupils of bilingual and regular Α-level were investigated. The children performed two writing assignments: one at the start of the year and another one four months later (just after the Christmas holidays). The TTO-pupils showed more progress in their acquisition of past tense forms of English as compared to regular Α-level pupils and they were more creative in their language use, as was visible in the mistakes they made. Furthermore, no pupil used only non-finite forms. Thus, the findings indicate that the MSIH appears to be correct.
Article language: Dutch