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Nonnative acquisition of Verb Second: On the empirical underpinnings of universal L2 claims

Bohnacker, Ute LU (2005) In The function of function words and functional categories. LALD 7802, Series Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today
Abstract
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... (More)
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. (Less)
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published
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in
The function of function words and functional categories. LALD 7802, Series Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today
editor
den Dikken, Marc; Tortora, Christina; and
publisher
John Benjamins Publishing Company
ISBN
90-272-2802-7
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
53c3273f-a8d9-422e-bc73-fdacbacd7948 (old id 536841)
date added to LUP
2007-09-12 20:51:27
date last changed
2016-04-16 10:10:50
@inbook{53c3273f-a8d9-422e-bc73-fdacbacd7948,
  abstract     = {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.},
  author       = {Bohnacker, Ute},
  editor       = {den Dikken, Marc and Tortora, Christina},
  isbn         = {90-272-2802-7},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {John Benjamins Publishing Company},
  series       = {The function of function words and functional categories. LALD 7802, Series Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today},
  title        = {Nonnative acquisition of Verb Second: On the empirical underpinnings of universal L2 claims},
  year         = {2005},
}