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Nonnative acquisition of Verb Second: On the empirical underpinnings of universal L2 claims
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology.
2005 (English)In: The function of function words and functional categories. / [ed] Marcel den Dikken & Christina Tortora (eds.), Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2005, 41-77 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Acquiring Germanic verb second is typically described as difficult for second-language

learners. Even speakers of a V2-language (Swedish) learning another V2-language (German)

are said not to transfer V2 but to start with a non-V2 grammar, following a universal

developmental path of verb placement. The present study contests this claim, documenting

early targetlike V2 production for 6 Swedish ab-initio (and 23 intermediate) learners of

German, at a time when their interlanguage syntax elsewhere is nontargetlike (head-initial

VPs). Learners whose only nonnative language is German never violate V2, indicating

transfer of V2-L1 syntax. Informants with previous knowledge of English are less targetlike

in their L3-German productions, indicating interference from non-V2 English. V2 per se is

thus not universally difficult for nonnative learners.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2005. 41-77 p.
, LALD - Linguistik Aktuell, 7802
Keyword [en]
Germanic, word order, V2, Swedish, German, English, ab-initio, L2 learners, syntax
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics Specific Languages
Research subject
Linguistics; German; English; Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-293426ISBN: ISBN 90-272-2802-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-293426DiVA: diva2:927698
Available from: 2016-05-12 Created: 2016-05-12 Last updated: 2016-08-08Bibliographically approved

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