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The basic continuity hypothesis of L1 to L2 production
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Romance Studies and Classics.
2018 (English)In: Second language research, ISSN 0267-6583, E-ISSN 1477-0326, Vol. 34, no 3, p. 275-308Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To what extent can second language (L2) speakers acquire a syntactic representation for an L2 structure absent in the first language (L1)? Findings from L2 structural priming studies are in conflict inasmuch as evidence for and against continuity between L1 and L2 sentence production has been shown. Furthermore, previous investigations have not adequately controlled for well-known animacy effects on choice of syntactic frames. I address the conflict of views in the field via three experiments of structural priming with native, Chinese, and Turkish speakers of English by means of an oral sentence-recall production task. The structure tested, the English genitive alternation, is subject to animacy effects as in the waiter’s photo / the photo of the waiter. Chinese and Turkish have no equivalent to English of genitives nor animacy effects in their genitive structure. Experiment 1 showed priming within-L1 English and found evidence of an animacy effect, albeit only numerical. Likewise, Experiment 2 showed priming within-L2 English and found the L1 Chinese were similarly susceptible to animacy effects. Experiment 3 also showed clear within-L2 English priming in Turkish speakers but the effects of animacy differed from the other groups. I argue the similarities between the native and L2 groups to constitute grounds for a basic continuity in L1 to L2 production.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 34, no 3, p. 275-308
Keywords [en]
animacy, genitives, language production, sentence production, structural priming
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-150311DOI: 10.1177/0267658317729423ISI: 000438086100001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-150311DiVA, id: diva2:1166770
Available from: 2017-12-15 Created: 2017-12-15 Last updated: 2018-08-20Bibliographically approved

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