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ERIC Number: EJ885353
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-0267-6583
What Variables Condition Syntactic Transfer? A Look at the L3 Initial State
Rothman, Jason; Cabrelli Amaro, Jennifer
Second Language Research, v26 n2 p189-218 2010
This study investigates transfer at the third-language (L3) initial state, testing between the following possibilities: (1) the first language (L1) transfer hypothesis (an L1 effect for all adult acquisition), (2) the second language (L2) transfer hypothesis, where the L2 blocks L1 transfer (often referred to in the recent literature as the "L2 status factor"; Williams and Hammarberg, 1998), and (3) the Cumulative Enhancement Model (Flynn "et al.", 2004), which proposes selective transfer from all previous linguistic knowledge. We provide data from successful English-speaking learners of L2 Spanish at the initial state of acquiring L3 French and L3 Italian relating to properties of the Null-Subject Parameter (e.g. Chomsky, 1981; Rizzi, 1982). We compare these groups to each other, as well as to groups of English learners of L2 French and L2 Italian at the initial state, and conclude that the data are consistent with the predictions of the "L2 status factor". However, we discuss an alternative possible interpretation based on (psycho)typologically-motivated transfer (borrowing from Kellerman, 1983), providing a methodology for future research in this domain to meaningfully tease apart the "L2 status factor" from this alternative account. (Contains 2 figures, 6 tables and 10 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A