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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Rooms 7, Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
Event date: 
Friday, 8 March, 2019 - 17:00 to 18:00

L2 Chinese Linguistics Seminar

This paper reports on an empirical study examining the transfer source in third language (L3) acquisition at the initial stage and the morphosyntactic development at later stages. Both Mandarin and Cantonese use Sentence Final Particles (SFPs) to denote temporal-aspectual meanings, while English employs tense/aspect markers to express those meanings. Hence Cantonese is predicted to be the source of transfer in our L3 study on the basis of the Typological Primacy Model (TPM; Rothman, 2010, 2011, 2015) and the Linguistic Proximity Model (LPM; Westergaard et al., 2016). Data from a sentence-picture matching task confirm the prediction that initial transfer is from the structurally/typologically similar language Cantonese and the transfer is facilitative. The results also show that mapping problems (Lardiere, 2007), and lack of enough evidence in the L3 input can result in unacquirability of a certain particle.

Professor Boping Yuan: