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Crosslinguistic Influences (Ch. 3) Understanding SLA Lourdes Ortega (2009) www.routledge.com/cw/ortega Published by Routledge © 2009 Mark Sawyer.

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Presentation on theme: "Crosslinguistic Influences (Ch. 3) Understanding SLA Lourdes Ortega (2009) www.routledge.com/cw/ortega Published by Routledge © 2009 Mark Sawyer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Crosslinguistic Influences (Ch. 3) Understanding SLA Lourdes Ortega (2009) Published by Routledge © 2009 Mark Sawyer

2 But first… Age leftovers Problems Swedish as an L3 Correlations among cognitive tests Do GJ tests measure Competence? Or? Opportunities pre/post CP research suggested, but what about BiL/BiL comparisons?

3 Basic Question How is the development of a new L2 influenced by knowledge & capabilities available through L1 (& previous L2s)? representation (Competence) learning strategies/cognitive processes processing tendencies (Control)

4 3.1 On L1-L2 differences & similarities Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis (CAH) L1-L2 difference = L2 difficulty L1-L2 similarity = L2 easiness (based on behaviorist idea of habit formation) Problems for CAH Similarities do not always help (Swedish neg) Differences do not always cause errors (w.o., r.c.) Difficulties can be asymmetrical (Fr/Eng pronouns)

5 3.2 Interlingual identifications “judgements that something in NL & TL are similar” (Odlin, 2003) Precursors Crucial Similarity Measure (Wode, 1976) Transfer to Somewhere (Anderson, 1983) Ex1: Evidentiality L1 Quecha  L2 Spanish (Spanish V morphology is tempting site for CLI) Ex2: L1 Eng L2 French guesses (Singleton)

6 Interlingual identification influences a) nature of specific L2 phenomenon b) perceived L1/L2 distance, transferability c) proficiency level

7 3.3 Besides the L1: Developmental influences & interlanguage L1/L2 common errors (wented, goed) Universal sequences morphology (e.g. -ing, -s, -ed)( morpho-semantics (e.g. tense, aspect)( word order (esp. negation, questions)( other syntax (relative clauses)(

8 Interlanguage Transitional language system constructed by learner at each point in development toward TL (Selinker, 1972) Synthesis of L1, L2, additional elements

9 3.4 First language vis-á-vis developmental influences Rate but not route varies by L1 Clear L2 English (partial) examples Negation: preverbal  postverbal Questions: intonation (2)  fronting  inversion Articles: the  one/this substitution stage…L1 Hmong > L1 Spanish

10 3.5 Markedness & L1 transfer Relations among contrasting features within/across languages: unmarked: frequent, simple marked: rare, complex Example: consonant voicing Devoicing is frequent, easy, unmarked Voicing is less frequent, harder, marked

11 Markedness Differential hypothesis ( L2 > L1, difficulty is expected L1 > L2, no particular learning challenge Transfer of marked features less likely Explains asymmetry between Eng/Ger L1 English L2ers of German easily learn word-final devoicing Germans transfer devoicing to English.

12 3.6 Can a cup break? Transferability Subjective intuitions about L1/L2 similarity Is a phenomenon L1-specific or universal? Also (better?) known as psychotypology Ex.: Kellerman’s “break” study (1979)

13 Kellerman’s “break” study Dutch L2ers of English judged transferability: acceptability of English equivalents of Dutch uses of “break” Results Beginners: best Intermediates: worst (much too conservative) Advanced: better (still conservative) Too marked/Dutch-sounding not accepted

14 Kellerman’s “break” study 1. He broke his leg. 2. The cup broke 3. The waves broke on the rocks 4. They finally broke the ice between them. 5. He broke his word/oath. 6. She broke the world record. 7. The tree broke her fall. 8. The tea break nicely broke up the afternoon.

15 3.7 Avoidance Errors of omission? (cf. commission) Schacter’s relative clause (RC) study “An error in error analysis” (1974) RC errors: Persian, Arabic > JPN, CHN JPN/CHN better than PER/ARA in RCs? No way! JPN, CHN L2ers avoided RCs Making fewer errors is not always good!

16 Avoidance: English phrasal verbs Hebrew L2ers avoided ( Swedish L2ers avoided non-clear ones ( Dutch L2ers avoided “L1-like” ones ( Explanations?

17 3.8 Underuse & overuse Successor to avoidance research L1 Finnish L2 ENG ex. (Jarvis & Odlin): underuse of prepositions overuse of in Corpus availability helps this research

18 3.9 Positive influences on L2 learning rate Rate of L2 English in Finland: L1 Swedish > L1 Finnish (Ringbom) Explanation: Typological/genetic closeness Also specifically for the, zero article ( L2 French grammatical gender: L1 German > L1 English ( L2 Thai tones, experimental treatment: Tonal L1s (Mandarin, T) > non-tonal L1 ENG (

19 Abstract similarity, Mixed Effect Artificial animacy-based article rule: L1s w/grammatical gender > L1s w/o ( Tense systems (French passé composé  English Simple Past, Present Perfect) Functional overlap/crucial similarity: delays SP, accelerates PP (

20 3.10 First language influence beneath the surface Information structure: Topic (JPN) vs. Subject (ENG) Prominence TP L1ers try to maintain topic-comment structure in SP L2 There are so many Taiwan people live around the lake SP L1ers try to maintain subject-predicate structure in TP L2, avoiding topicalization (e.g. Korean “as for the elephant, its nose is long”) (

21 More information structure data L1 Cambodian L2er of ENG maintained have in place of existential there is ( Advanced L1 ENG L2ers of German maintained existential there is rather than preferred locational constructions (

22 3.11 Crosslinguistic influences across all layers of language Pragmatics/speech acts L1 JPN, L2 ENG polite requests ( L1/L2 Hebrew, L2/L1 ENG: apologies ( L1 CHN, L2 ENG: compliment responses Thinking-for-speaking (Dan Slobin) Languages vary in resources for framing meaning, e.g. verb-framing or satellite framing for motion. L1 thinking/framing tendency transfers to L2.

23 3.12 Beyond the L1: Crosslinguistic influences across multiple languages Previous L2s accelerate L3, especially when typologically related (vocabulary) strategies have developed, even if not related ( Morphosyntax (prep stranding): L3 > L2 ( L1 does not hold privileged status in all L3A Typology influences formal/surface CLI L1 influences semantic CLI L1/L2 functional roles are different Proficiency, foreignness, context effects

24 More multiple language data L1/L2 play different functional roles: ( L1: intentional, metalinguistic,self-regulatory L2: unconscious, function words Facilitative L1 CLI not always used: ( L1 CHN, KOR L3ers of JPN = ENG L2ers Failed to transfer more similar L1 structure Order of acquisition, recency, formality, foreignness; + bidirectional influences

25 3.13 The limits of crosslinguistic influence Easy to overestimate L1 CLI L1 influence impossible to determine? ( Internal External, e.g. interlocutors Post-colonial vs. FL contexts (Odlin) CLI as resistance, appropriation (


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