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ERIC Number: EJ1091659
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-1048-9223
Transfer and Semantic Universals in the L2 Acquisition of the English Article System by Child L2 Learners
Morales-Reyes, Alexandra; Soler, Inmaculada Gómez
Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics, v23 n1 p57-74 2016
L2 learners' problems with English articles have been linked to learners' L1 and their access to universal semantic features (e.g., definiteness and specificity). Studies suggest that L2 adults rely on their L1 knowledge, while child L2 learners rely more on their access to semantic universals. The present study investigates whether child L2 learners access features like adult L2 learners (i.e., reassembling the features of the L1) or as L1 acquirers (i.e., choosing from the inventory of universal features). We evaluated the acquisition of English articles in 30 Spanish-speaking children learning English as their L2 and found that they transfer knowledge from their L1 much in the same way as do adults. However, the error analysis also suggests that article acquisition in child L2 learners is restricted by Universal Grammar resembling L1 acquisition. In conclusion, we propose that article acquisition in child L2 learners patterns with both adult L2 and L1 acquisition.
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; Puerto Rico