Bene Bassetti, University of Birmingham, Royaume Uni
« Cross-modal cross-linguistic influence on second language phonology: Consonant spelling and consonant duration in Italian L1 speakers of English L2 »
Summary: This paper will report the results of a series of studies by Bassetti, Cerni, Mairano and Masterson, which investigated the effects of L1 and L2 orthographies on L2 phonology. In a series of experimental studies of Italian native-speaking learners and users of English as a second language, the researchers found that L1 orthography-phonology correspondences influence the recoding of L2 orthographic forms, resulting in the perception and production of a contrast between short and long consonants that is not attested in the English language. Qualitative data confirmed the orthographic nature of the effects. Neither lengthy naturalistic exposure nor an explicit teaching intervention reduced such orthographic effects.
Marianne Starren, Radboud University, Pays Bas
« The (almost native) acquisition of discourse coherence in L2 English/French by Dutch and German learners »
Summary: Although very advanced learners of a language often seem to have acquired their target language tonear-native standards on most linguistic levels, they often still have difficulties linking utterances according to the L2 principles of information structure. Studies by Van Vuuren & Laskin (2017) found that Dutch learnersof English, despite their advanced levels, still apply Dutch principles of information structure in their writing. They use clause-initial adverbials and local anchors more frequently than native English writers (besides of that,moreover, in top of that) as a linking tool between utterances. The present study focuses on the use of L2 English and French linking principles of information structure by L1 Dutch and German learners in monologue picture descriptions and in a dialogue spot-the-difference task. It was investigated whether and to which degree veryadvanced learners still rely on L1 linking discourse principles as were found and described earlier in crosslinguistic L1 analyses of the same languages: Dutch and German versus English and French carry differentfunctions to their clause-initial constituents due to their different word orders. Dutch and German, as verbsecond(V2) languages, have a pre-verbal position that can host any constituent.
Typically, in picture descriptions, adverbials and ‘local anchors’ (Los & Dreschler, 2012) like daarnaast ‘besides there’ and hierdoor ‘hereby’ are used to link sentences to the immediately preceding discourse. English as French, however, have a stricter subject-verb-object (SVO) word order, which means that the subject is preferred in initial position and carries the discourse-linking function (see also Carroll, Murcia-Serra Watorek & Bendiscioli, 2000).
Previous pilot L1-analyses of picture descriptions and spot-the-difference dialogues by native speakers of English, French, German and Dutch, demonstrated that these speakers indeed employ different strategies to structure their monologue picture descriptions and their dialogues; while English/French speakers use what they see as a structuring principle (facilitated by the clause-initial subject and existential expressions; there is X, I see Z, X has a strange colour), Dutch/German speakers emphasize where they see these things (facilitated by place adverbials in pre-verbal position; on the top left corner is an X, below X is an Z). In the present acquisition study thirty-two speakers of Dutch L1 participated in the English L2 (15) and the French L2 condition (17).
The results clearly show that although the L2 discourse seems to be very near-native at first glance, the typically picture-based Dutch/German where-is-what discourse principle organizes the English and French L2 picture descriptions and the spot-the-difference dialogues in a just not enough native-way. Moreover, the L1 where-is-what principle expressed by a frequent use of sentence-initial local anchors by our Dutch learners (Right next to that a bit to the top is an apple or A gauche en dessous un peu est une mandarine) was more dominant in the dialogues than in the monologue picture descriptions.
Keywords: Discourse-principles, very advanced learners, dialogues
Scott Jarvis, University of Utah, États-Unis
« Conceptual transfer: Recent advances and current explorations »
Summary: Scholars since Humboldt (1836) have been interested in crosslinguistic influence as it relates to the construal of conceptual meaning in a second language. However, this type of crosslinguistic influence has only recently been investigated through empirical studies properly designed to shed light on its true nature and scope. In this talk, I begin by describing the development of historical interest in and skepticism surrounding the notions of linguistic relativity, thinking for speaking, and conceptual transfer. I also describe the similarities and differences between these three lines of research and how they support one another. Finally, I describe recent and current research dealing with L2 speakers’ patterns of expression, attention, and memory when describing, viewing, and recalling motion events. I conclude by summarizing what we currently know about conceptual transfer, what we still need to learn, and what future studies of conceptual transfer might look like.