ERIC Number: ED298768
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Mar-20
Reference Count: N/A
Acquiring the English Article System: A Cross-Linguistic Interlanguage Analysis.
A study examined second language article acquisition by analyzing the spoken interlanguage of speakers of five different native languages, three with no article system (Chinese, Japanese, and Russian) and two with article systems (Spanish and German). Informal interviews of four speakers of each language at successive levels of interlanguage provided data for a pseudolongitudinal analysis of article usage for each of the five languages represented. The interlanguage level was determined primarily by negation criteria. Findings show that subjects whose first languages contained article systems differed markedly in English article acquisition from those whose first languages did not contain such a system, indicating that English article usage, particularly at the beginning levels, is clearly influenced by the first language. The most dramatic change in article usage appears to occur between the basilang and low mesolang levels for "the" and zero usage. "A" appears to be acquired at a slower and more gradual rate, perhaps reflecting its linkage to the plus-or-minus count system. (Author/MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (22nd, Chicago, IL, March 8-13, 1988). Several figures may not reproduce well due to marginal legibility.