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The impact of Swedish L1 on the expression of path and manner in Spanish L2
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Romance Studies and Classics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0374-2352
2014 (English)In: Nordand: nordisk tidsskrift for andrespråksforskning, ISSN 0809-9227, Vol. 9, no 2, 47-71 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study is based on the typological distinction between Satellite-framed and Verb-framed languages. Its main focus is on whether the L1 patterns for motion encoding are still at play even at advanced stages of second language acquisition. In order to delve into this question, three different groups of subjects were compared: L1 Swedish (Swedish native speakers, n = 16), L1 Spanish (Spanish native speakers of the Chilean variety, n = 16) and L2 Spanish. This latter group was composed by 21 Swedes that lived in Chile at the time of data collection. In order to determine the similarities and differences between the three groups regarding the encoding of motion events, oral narratives of the picture book Frog, where are you? (Mayer 1969) were analyzed. We hypothesized the learner group would exhibit L1-based syntactic and conceptual patterns when referring to Manner, Path and Ground in the L2. Our results confirmed, in part, this hypothesis: The learner group evidenced a pervasive use of Path particles and Ground adjuncts (specifically referring to the end points of motion), which support the idea that the learners rely on the expression patterns of their L1 when describing motion events in an L2. As to Manner, our learner group was found to convey this component outside the verb thus compensating for the lack of manner-of-motion verbs in Spanish by adding more information than the Spanish natives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 9, no 2, 47-71 p.
Keyword [en]
satellite-framed languages, verb-framed languages, path, manner, ground, boundary-crossing constraint, end-point encoding, Spanish, Swedish, L1 transfer
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-112326OAI: diva2:778810
Available from: 2015-01-11 Created: 2015-01-11 Last updated: 2016-04-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Expresiones de movimiento en español como segunda lengua y como lengua heredada: Conceptualización y entrega del Camino, la Manera y la Base
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Expresiones de movimiento en español como segunda lengua y como lengua heredada: Conceptualización y entrega del Camino, la Manera y la Base
2016 (Spanish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Motion expressions in Spanish as a second language and as a heritage language : Conceptualization and encoding of Path, Manner and Ground
Abstract [en]

The current thesis is based on four individual studies which aim to account for the expression of motion events (ME) in Spanish and Swedish as first languages (L1), in Swedish as a second language (L2), and in Spanish as a heritage language (SHL). The data, resulting from audio-recordings of different sorts of stimuli, have been analyzed with special focus on (1) the most common structures used for referring to various types of ME, (2) the types and amount of information provided by the participants, in particular as regards the semantic components Path, Manner and Ground, and (3) grammatical aspect and types of syntactic structures resorted to, including the correlation between the two latter factors and speakers’ discursive preferences.

     Study 1 sets out to explore how Spanish and Swedish native speakers convey information about motion. The results show that the Swedish L1 speakers produced a wider range of descriptions concerning Manner and Path than the Spanish L1 speakers; furthermore, both groups delivered detailed Ground descriptions, although the Swedish native speakers expressed final destinations (endpoints) of ME to a greater extent.

     Study 2 aims to investigate to what extent Swedish L1 patterns for motion encoding are still at play in the acquisition of Spanish L2 even at advanced stages of L2 acquisition. The results show that the learner group used a larger amount of Path particles and Ground adjuncts (in particular those referring to endpoints) than did the Spanish natives; this finding supports the claim that L2 learners rely on the lexicalization patterns of their L1 when describing ME in an L2. As for Manner, the L2 speakers were found to express this component mainly outside the verb, and to deliver more information about Manner than the Spanish natives.

     Study 3 addresses the construal of ME in Swedish speakers of L2 Spanish, in particular concerning the encoding of motion endpoints and Manner of motion. The results show that the Swedish learners of Spanish exhibited the same, high frequencies of endpoint marking as did their monolingual Swedish peers, thus deviating from the Spanish native pattern. Moreover, the L2 speakers used the same amount of Manner verbs as did the Spanish natives but tended consistently to provide additional Manner information in periphrastic constructions.

     Finally, Study 4 sets out to analyze the ways in which L1 Spanish/L2 Swedish early and late bilinguals express ME in SHL. The aim is to show in which ways and to what extent the typological patterns for motion encoding in the L2 may impact on motion encoding in the L1 with regard to three parameters: (1) age of onset (AO) of the acquisition of L2, (2) length of residence (LoR) in the L2 environment and (3) contact level with the L1 (CL). The focus data, consisting of oral re-tellings produced by the bilinguals, were compared to analogous data produced by two control groups (native speakers of Spanish and Swedish) in order to analyze conflation patterns regarding Manner, Path and Ground information. The analysis points to the conclusion that both the individuals’ AO of L2 acquisition and their LoR in the L2 environment have affected their L1 conceptualization patterns while their CL plays a subordinate role.

     In summary, the findings lend support to the idea that the habitual conceptualization of events in the L1 influences L2 acquisition; conversely, the conceptual patterns of the L2 have an impact on L1 usage in bilinguals, especially in combination with an early AO and a long LoR.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Romance Studies and Classics, Stockholm University, 2016
conceptualization, lexicalization patterns, motion events, Path, Manner, Ground, grammatical aspect, second language acquisition, bilingualism, Spanish as a second language, Spanish as a heritage language, Conceptualización, patrones de lexicalización, eventos de movimiento, Camino, Manera, Base, aspecto gramaticalizado, adquisición de segundas lenguas, bilingüismo, español como segunda lengua, español como lengua heredada, español L1, sueco L1, español L2
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128343 (URN)978-91-7649-388-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-05-28, hörsal 4, hus B, Universitetsvägen 10 B, Stockholm, 10:00 (Spanish)

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: In press.

Available from: 2016-05-02 Created: 2016-03-23 Last updated: 2016-05-25Bibliographically approved

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Donoso, Alejandra
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