The role of L1 phonology in L2 morphological production: L2 English past tense production by L1 Spanish, Mandarin, and Japanese Speakers.
This study considers the role of L1 phonological influence in L2 English past tense morphology production by native speakers of Spanish, Mandarin, and Japanese. While these L1s share similar phonological restrictions on consonant cluster formation needed for English past tense morphology, differences arise in L1 syntax (only Mandarin lacks syntactic past) and L1 prosodic structure (only Japanese has English-equivalent structure). Aggregate analyses indicate that an L1 English control group outperforms all L2 groups in oral suppliance of past tense morphology. Results therefore reveal that having the syntactic feature for past in the L1 does not translate into target-like performance and that L1 phonological restrictions alone cannot fully explain non-target-like performance. In light of previous and the current data sets, we argue that evidence from production of L2 English past tense cannot be used to adjudicate between Representational Deficit Approaches and Full Access Approaches, contrary to what has been argued previously.
Manuscript. Published version in press (Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 2017)