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|Title:||Syntactic development evidenced via DLC||Other Titles:||Contribution to the Thematic Symposium: Dominant Language Constellations||Authors:||Fernández-Berkes, Eva
|Keywords:||Dominant Language Constellation (DLC);wh-movement;relative clauses;syntactic fluency||Issue Date:||14-Jun-2017||Publisher:||ISB11-International Symposium on Bilingualism, Limerick, Ireland||Abstract:||Syntactic knowledge, understood as an implicit and unconscious computational knowledge, is essential to define what multilingual development consists of. In order to explore how learners integrate innate linguistic and language-specific knowledge for a new target language in acquisition, we will employ a Dominant Language Constellation (DLC) approach (Aronin 2016) and examine production data at two levels of English proficiency of groups of multiple language learners whose DLC differs only minimally: DLC of Hungarian/German/English and DLC of Hungarian/Spanish/English. The fact that multilingual language learners necessarily own and retain more than one grammar leads us to assume that such individuals represent the languages of their Dominant Constellation in fundamentally similar ways. One of the logical consequences of such an approach is the need to reinterpret unidirectional language influence, i.e. ‘transfer from a source to a target language’, to allow for a more creative progress learners go through within their language constellation. We will compare and contrast production data related to the acquisition of different empty categories: wh-movement and relative clauses. Participants in all experimental groups consist of Hungarian learners of L3 English whose L2 is either German or Spanish. Our results of the DLC analysis do not support the claim that development is mainly due to non-linguistic mechanisms, such as distance and processing ease, but rather that development has to be reinterpreted as a cumulative process in the sense of Flynn et al. (2004). Due to the minimal difference in learners’ background languages, we could detect nuanced differences in acquisition patterns. More precisely, where learners could not rely on previously acquired syntactic knowledge, they seemed to map features of simple structures to more complex ones to construct the new target grammar, giving further support to the claim that development is modular (Flynn et al. 2005). On the other hand, where learners’ DLC provided knowledge of a fully-fledged English-like CP structure, learners seemed to be induced to skip a more ‘primitive’ stage to build up complex structures in the target language. We conclude then that learners’ syntactic fluency (Berkes and Flynn 2016) can be enhanced in principled and selective ways according to the prior linguistic experience of the learner.||URI:||http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11790/943||Rights:||info:eu-repo/semantics/closedAccess|
|Appears in Collections:||Energie-Umweltmanagement|
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