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The acquisition of four adverbs in a learner corpus of L2 French
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of French, Italian and Classical Languages, French and Italian.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of French, Italian and Classical Languages, French and Italian.
2009 (English)In: Discours : revue de linguistique, psycholinguistique et informatique, no 5Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This empirical study of a learner corpus of 40 interviews, investigates the acquisition of the four adverbs aussi, peut-être, seulement and vraiment (also, mayby, only and really). Although these four adverbs are non-obligatory elements in the utterance, they seem to have two fundamental modifying functions, namely enhancement (aussi and vraiment) and mitigation (peut-être and seulement). They also appear at early stages of acquisition. The study concentrates on the positions and discourse functions of the adverbs in a developmental perspective. Each adverb is characterized with respect to these two parameters across six developmental stages (Bartning, Schlyter, 2004) and a “near-native” learner variety. We combine a functional framework for acquisition (cf. Klein, Perdue 1997; Benazzo 2000, 2005) with earlier observations from corpus studies concerning the positions and the semantics of the adverbs (Schlyter, 1977; Chanet, 2004; Bilger, 2004). We expected that the number of functions of the adverbs would increase with the stages and we focus on the very advanced levels (stages 5-6). The study is to our knowledge one of the first to cover learner production from beginners to very advanced and “near-native” speakers. One hypothesis generated by the study is that frequency patterns of the target language could be acquired earlier than positional patterns. As a result of the study, we propose an order of acquisition of the four adverbs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Paris: CNRS/ENS , 2009. no 5
Keyword [en]
modifying adverbs, placement, discourse functions, learner corpus, acquisition order, developmental stages
National Category
Specific Languages General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
French; Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-36623DOI: 10.4000/discours.7368OAI: diva2:289851
High-level second language use
Available from: 2010-01-25 Created: 2010-01-25 Last updated: 2011-10-21Bibliographically approved

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Hancock, Victorine
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