Publication details [#53933]

Benazzo, Sandra and Cecilia Andorno. 2010. Discourse cohesion and Topic discontinuity in native and learner production. Changing topic entities on maintained predicates. EUROSLA Yearbook 10 (1) : 92–118.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


In order to realize text cohesion, speakers have to select specific information units and mark their informational status within the discourse; this results in specific, language-particular perspective-taking, linked to typological differences (Slobin 1996). A previous study on native speakers' production in French, Italian, German and Dutch (Dimroth et al., in press) has highlighted a “Romance way” and a “Germanic way” of marking text cohesion in narrative segments involving topic discontinuity. This paper analyzes how text cohesion is realized in the same contexts by advanced learners of L2 French (Italian and German L1) and L2 Italian (French and German L1). Our aim is to verify the hypothesis of an L2 advanced stage where learners manage the target language utterance grammar whereas their discourse organization still reflects L1 preferences. The results confirm the persistent presence of L1 influence, but they also show learner-specific tendencies (favouring lexical means over morphosyntactic ones), which are independent of their source language.