ERIC Number: EJ1045141
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Second Language Learner Knowledge of Verb-Argument Constructions: Effects of Language Transfer and Typology
Römer, Ute; O'Donnell, Matthew Brook; Ellis, Nick C.
Modern Language Journal, v98 n4 p952-975 Win 2014
This article examines second language (L2) learner knowledge of English verb-argument constructions (VACs), for example, the "V 'against' n" construction. It investigates to what extent constructions underpin L2 learners' linguistic competence, how VAC mental representations in native speakers and learners differ, and whether there are observable effects of the learners' first language. Native speakers of English and advanced learners of 3 different first language backgrounds (Czech, German, Spanish) were asked to generate the first verb that came to mind to fill the gap in 20 sparse VAC frames like "she ____ against the…." The comparison of learner and native speaker verb responses highlights crosslinguistic transfer effects as well as effects of language typology that impact verb semantics (cf. Talmy, 1985). Our findings suggest that learners whose L1 is, like English, satellite-framed (here Czech and German) produce more target-like verbs than learners whose L1 is verb-framed (here Spanish).
Descriptors: Second Language Learning, Form Classes (Languages), Verbs, Linguistic Competence, Learning Processes, Native Speakers, English, Slavic Languages, German, Spanish, Transfer of Training, Concept Formation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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