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ERIC Number: EJ772370
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 43
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-1048-9223
On the "Vulnerability" of Syntactic Domains in Swedish and German
Bohnacker, Ute
Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics, v14 n1 p31-73 2007
This article investigates the L2 acquisition of clausal syntax in postpuberty learners of German and Swedish regarding V2, VP headedness, and verb particle constructions. The learner data are tested against L2 theories according to which lower structural projections (VP) are acquired before higher functional projections (IP, CP), VP syntax is unproblematic (invulnerable), but where grammatical operations related to the topmost level of syntactic structure (CP) are acquired late (e.g., Platzack's (2001) vulnerable C-domain). It is shown that such theories do not hold water: Native speakers of Swedish learning German and native speakers of German learning Swedish both master V2 from early on. At the same time, these learners exhibit a nontargetlike syntax at lower structural levels: residual VO in the case of the Swedish-L1 learners of German, and persistent nontarget transitive verb particle constructions in the German-L1 learners of Swedish. I argue that these findings are best explained by assuming full transfer of L1 syntax (e.g., Schwartz and Sprouse (1996)).
Lawrence Erlbaum. 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
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A