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On the “vulnerability” of syntactic domains in Swedish and German

Bohnacker, Ute LU (2007) In Language Acquisition 14(1). p.31-73
Abstract
This paper investigates the L2 acquisition of clausal syntax in post-puberty learners of German and Swedish regarding V2, VP headedness and verb particle constructions. The learner data are tested against L2 theories according to which lower structural projections (VP) are acquired before higher functional projections (IP, CP), VP syntax is unproblematic (invulnerable), but where grammatical operations related to the topmost level of syntactic structure (CP) are acquired late (e.g. Platzack’s (2001) vulnerable C-domain). It will be shown that such theories do not hold water: native speakers of Swedish learning German and native speakers of German learning Swedish both master V2 from early on. At the same time, these learners exhibit a... (More)
This paper investigates the L2 acquisition of clausal syntax in post-puberty learners of German and Swedish regarding V2, VP headedness and verb particle constructions. The learner data are tested against L2 theories according to which lower structural projections (VP) are acquired before higher functional projections (IP, CP), VP syntax is unproblematic (invulnerable), but where grammatical operations related to the topmost level of syntactic structure (CP) are acquired late (e.g. Platzack’s (2001) vulnerable C-domain). It will be shown that such theories do not hold water: native speakers of Swedish learning German and native speakers of German learning Swedish both master V2 from early on. At the same time, these learners exhibit a nontargetlike syntax at lower structural levels: residual VO in the case of the Swedish-L1 learners of German, and persistent nontarget transitive verb particle constructions in the German-L1 learners of Swedish. I argue that these findings are best explained by assuming full transfer of L1 syntax (e.g. Schwartz & Sprouse 1996). (Less)
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author
organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Language Acquisition
volume
14
issue
1
pages
31 - 73
publisher
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
ISSN
1048-9223
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
85b1c2a6-12d1-49c0-b9d7-d6f42921e133 (old id 161748)
date added to LUP
2007-07-27 14:16:53
date last changed
2016-04-16 03:53:34
@article{85b1c2a6-12d1-49c0-b9d7-d6f42921e133,
  abstract     = {This paper investigates the L2 acquisition of clausal syntax in post-puberty learners of German and Swedish regarding V2, VP headedness and verb particle constructions. The learner data are tested against L2 theories according to which lower structural projections (VP) are acquired before higher functional projections (IP, CP), VP syntax is unproblematic (invulnerable), but where grammatical operations related to the topmost level of syntactic structure (CP) are acquired late (e.g. Platzack’s (2001) vulnerable C-domain). It will be shown that such theories do not hold water: native speakers of Swedish learning German and native speakers of German learning Swedish both master V2 from early on. At the same time, these learners exhibit a nontargetlike syntax at lower structural levels: residual VO in the case of the Swedish-L1 learners of German, and persistent nontarget transitive verb particle constructions in the German-L1 learners of Swedish. I argue that these findings are best explained by assuming full transfer of L1 syntax (e.g. Schwartz & Sprouse 1996).},
  author       = {Bohnacker, Ute},
  issn         = {1048-9223},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {31--73},
  publisher    = {Lawrence Erlbaum Associates},
  series       = {Language Acquisition},
  title        = {On the “vulnerability” of syntactic domains in Swedish and German},
  volume       = {14},
  year         = {2007},
}