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ERIC Number: EJ745618
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Oct
Pages: 16
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-0019-042X
Variation in the Group and the Individual: Evidence from Second Language Acquisition
Bayley, Robert; Langman, Juliet
International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching (IRAL), v42 n4 p303-318 Oct 2004
This article examines the relationship between group and individual patterns of variation in one area of the grammar: verbal morphology. The results of studies of the acquisition of English and Hungarian verbal morphology by Chinese learners show that individual patterns of variation closely match group patterns on several dimensions. Multivariate analysis shows that frequency and perceptual saliency affect verb marking by all Chinese acquirers of English and Hungarian in a similar manner. In addition, separate quantitative analyses of individual speakers show that all the Chinese learners of English considered here are approximately twice as likely to mark perfective verbs for past tense as to mark imperfective verbs. These convergent results suggest that for first order constraints such as aspect, perceptual salience, and frequency, individual results do in fact match group patterns and that we are justified from an empirical and a theoretical viewpoint in reporting group results in studies of second language acquisition (SLA). (Contains 6 tables, 1 figure, and 6 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A