NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ893630
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0019-042X
On the Typological Economy of Syntactic Transfer: Word Order and Relative Clause High/Low Attachment Preference in L3 Brazilian Portuguese
Rothman, Jason
International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching (IRAL), v48 n2-3 p245-273 Jul 2010
One central question in the formal linguistic study of adult multilingual morphosyntax (i.e., L3/Ln acquisition) involves determining the role(s) the L1 and/or the L2 play(s) at the L3 initial state (e.g., Bardel & Falk, Second Language Research 23: 459-484, 2007; Falk & Bardel, Second Language Research: forthcoming; Flynn et al., The International Journal of Multilingualism 8: 3-16, 2004; Rothman, Second Language Research: forthcoming; Rothman & Cabrelli, On the initial state of L3 (Ln) acquisition: Selective or absolute transfer?: 2007; Rothman & Cabrelli Amaro, Second Language Research 26: 219-289, 2010). The present article adds to this general program, testing Rothman's (Second Language Research: forthcoming) model for L3 initial state transfer, which when relevant in light of specific language pairings, maintains that typological proximity between the languages is the most deterministic variable determining the selection of syntactic transfer. Herein, I present empirical evidence from the later part of the beginning stages of L3 Brazilian Portuguese (BP) by native speakers of English and Spanish, who have attained an advanced level of proficiency in either English or Spanish as an L2. Examining the related domains of syntactic word order and relative clause attachment preference in L3 BP, the data clearly indicate that Spanish is transferred for both experimental groups irrespective of whether it was the L1 or L2. These results are expected by Rothman's (Second Language Research: forthcoming) model, but not necessarily predicted by other current hypotheses of multilingual syntactic transfer; the implications of this are discussed.
Walter de Gruyter. P.O. Box 960, Herndon, VA 20172-0960. Tel: 800-208-8144; Tel: 703-661-1589; Fax: 703-661-1501; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Brazil