In support of the full access full transfer hypothesis : evidence from error patterns in the second language acquisition of English articles
The English article system is complicated for L2 learners. Article errors usually happen in L2 article acquisition. Article errors are not random. The two main error patterns are article overuse and article omission. This thesis argues that the Full Access Full Transfer hypothesis (FAFT) can account for these article errors. The Fluctuation Hypothesis is proposed to address article overuse in L2 article acquisition. Article choice will fluctuate in the context of [+definite, - specific] and [-definite, +specific]. This thesis investigates the findings of Spanish-speaking, Arabic-speaking and French-speaking learners. These results show that the Fluctuation Hypothesis cannot account for article choice observed in L2 learners with article systems. The Missing Surface Inflection Hypothesis (MSIH) is used to address article omission. This hypothesis argues that article omission occurs because learners have problems retrieving the relevant forms. This thesis investigates the use of the English article system in light of the MSIH in learners with Turkish, Arabic and French as their native languages. The results are consistent with the FAFT hypothesis. This thesis finally provides a different explanation for article overuse and article omission, where articles are incorrectly analyzed as adjectives at the early stages by L2 learners with no article systems. Because of the absence of articles in the L1, bare NPs become a candidate to represent definiteness. This shows the effect of L1 transfer, which is consistent with the FAFT hypothesis. According to these findings and hypotheses, the FAFT hypothesis is confirmed in this thesis.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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