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ERIC Number: EJ1040053
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jul
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 75
ISSN: ISSN-0267-6583
The Role of the Native Language in the Use of the English Nongeneric Definite Article by L2 Learners: A Cross-Linguistic Comparison
Chrabaszcz, Anna; Jiang, Nan
Second Language Research, v30 n3 p351-379 Jul 2014
The study uses an elicited imitation (EI) task to examine the effect of the native language on the use of the English nongeneric definite article by highly proficient first-language (L1) Spanish and Russian speakers and to test the hierarchy of article difficulty first proposed by Liu and Gleason (2002). Our findings suggest that there is a clear influence of L1 on participants' reproduction of the second-language (L2) definite article in nongeneric contexts, but that various contexts present different levels of difficulty for the two L1 groups. The participants whose L1 is Spanish--a language with an article system--perform at a native-like level of accuracy in the grammatical condition of the test, whereas the participants whose L1 is Russian--a language without articles--demonstrate a tendency to omit definite articles in the same contexts. In the ungrammatical condition, Spanish speakers differ from the native speaker control group in their suppliance of the definite article in conventional and cultural contexts, while Russian participants supply the definite article significantly less than both the Spanish participants and the control group along all article categories. The study offers novel insights into what constitutes article difficulty for L2 learners from different L1s.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A