Second Language Acquisition of Articles: Empirical findings and theoretical implications

Second Language Acquisition of Articles: Empirical findings and theoretical implications

by Mar?a del Pilar Garc?a Mayo, Roger Hawkins, Ghisseh Sarko, Marta Tryzna
     
 

The studies in this collection address a topic that has recently become the focus of considerable interest in second language acquisition (SLA) research: the acquisition of articles. Languages appear to vary in whether they have articles (English, German, Norwegian do, but Chinese, Japanese, Russian do not). Languages that have articles also appear to divide into…  See more details below

Overview

The studies in this collection address a topic that has recently become the focus of considerable interest in second language acquisition (SLA) research: the acquisition of articles. Languages appear to vary in whether they have articles (English, German, Norwegian do, but Chinese, Japanese, Russian do not). Languages that have articles also appear to divide into those that realise definiteness (e.g. English) and those that realise specificity (e.g. Samoan). When speakers of one type of language learn an L2 of a different type, issues of central concern to SLA research arise: the nature of L1 influence, the time course of development, ultimate attainment, the relationship between performance and competence, and the role of Universal Grammar. These issues are considered in nine studies, written by researchers whose work is at the forefront of enquiry, that offer new data, new perspectives and new insights into the way L2 speakers acquire articles.

Editorial Reviews

Benjamin White
An unmistakable strength of the volume is its careful and disciplined attention to theory. Contributing authors clearly state the theoretical motivation for their studies, and they do not fail to discuss what their findings imply for current theory. Readers will encounter new theoretical questions, innovative task designs for data collection, and insightful interpretations of empirical findings.
Donielle Sharma
The volume under review contains a very detailed and comprehensive collection of well-written and provocative studies that investigate article acquisition from various perspectives. Multiple languages are examined and discussed; semantic, prosodic and syntactic elements are considered; and a wide variety of test items and methods was employed. The wide scope of studies presented in this collection offers meaningful insight into the processes involved in the acquisition of articles, while at the same time becoming a catalyst for further study. Research into this very specific topic in language acquisition has far-reaching implications for second language acquisition research in general.
Florence Myles
This volume is an excellent example of how bringing together studies on a specific theme from leading researchers in a field can lead to a work greater than the sum of its parts. This enables the editors, María del Pilar García Mayo and Roger Hawkins, not only to present us with a state of the art picture of what is involved in the second language acquisition (SLA) of articles, but also to show very clearly how the acquisition of this area of grammar can provide a test case for current SLA theories. This book represents an invaluable contribution to current knowledge and understanding not only of this subfield, but of SLA theorising in general.
Donna Lardiere
The acquisition of nativelike morphosyntactic, semantic, and pragmatic knowledge of definite and indefinite articles in a second language is one of the thorniest and most persistent learning problems language learners face. This valuable collection offers findings from several new experimental studies of article acquisition, covering a range of methods and L1-L2 (and even L3) language combinations. The empirical results are brought to bear on important theoretical questions in SLA such as the role of transfer, the role of syntactic, semantic, and prosodic constraints of universal grammar, and the interaction between such constraints and other components of linguistic and extralinguistic knowledge. Readers will certainly come away with a deeper appreciation of what it takes to acquire (and to study) such knowledge.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9789027253101
Publisher:
Benjamins, John Publishing Company
Publication date:
07/29/2009
Series:
Language Acquisition and Language Disorders Series
Pages:
284
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.90(d)

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