Acquisition of L2 English articles among L1 Dagbani speakers: L1 Transfer or Fluctuation?
This study investigates the acquisition of L2 English articles among L1 Dagbani speakers. Both Dagbani and English are article languages. However, Dagbani lacks a morphological marker for indefiniteness, hence, indefiniteness and genericity are expressed in the language by bare nouns. L2 acquisition research shows that adult L2 learners both from article and article-less languages have much difficulties mastering accurate use of articles in English. It is assumed that L2ers from article languages transfer the article semantic of their L1s while those from article-less languages fluctuate between definiteness and specificity. Eight native English speakers and 45 L1 Dagbani speakers took part in this study. All participants took three tests: a written forced-choice elicitation test, an acceptability judgement test and English proficiency test. Data was analysed using R. The results showed that English article acquisition among L1 Dagbani speakers was influenced by their L1, L2 input cues and access to UG features. The featural composition of Dagbani articles based on expressions of definiteness and genericity were found to be the relevant factors in the L2ers article choice in English. These findings are consistent with the feature reassembly and the full transfer full access hypotheses. Finally, the study also found that Dagbani L2 English learners rely on explicit learning strategies in the acquisition of English articles.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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