Ab Initio Adult Third Language Acquisition: Transfer source selection and effects of CLI in acquisition of an artificial language
AuthorStevens, Dashiel Naea
The field of generative third language acquisition has seen considerable activity in the last decade, resulting in several dominant models which seek to explain the phenomenon of cross-linguistic influence (CLI) and transfer. This study investigates the role of previously acquired languages, Norwegian and English, in the acquisition of morphosyntax of a miniature artificial language (MAL) at the absolute initial (ab initio) stage of third language acquisition (L3A). The study explores three factors in transfer source selection during third language acquisition: order of acquisition, structural vs. typological similarity, and the language of the acquisition environment. Results are drawn from a group of n = 77 Norwegian/English bilingual participants via two acceptability judgment tasks focused on sentence-level word order and verb seconding, completed following a training on the lexicon of the MAL. Separating the two assessments was an additional training segment where participants were exposed to two additional morphosyntactic structures found in their first language (L1), Norwegian, but not their second language (L2), English. The results indicate support for the Linguistic Proximity Model (LPM; Westergaard et al., 2017; Westergaard, 2019, 2021a, 2021b) as the current model which most accurately explains the data, and suggests that CLI is the result of activation of linguistic structures with multiple sources of input (e.g. that CLI occurs property by property) and that language learners are receptive to a wide variety of cues which guide transfer source selection.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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