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Title:The Reflection of First-Language-Derived Processes in Second Language Acquisition
Author(s):Zehler, Annette Marie
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Developmental
Abstract:In research on first language acquisition, similarities between children acquiring any language have been attributed to the operation of common, universal processes, such as the formation of rules and rule generalization. However, it is not necessarily the case that processes for interpreting linguistic input are well formed and remain completely constant from early childhood on. The goal of the present study was to examine the development of cognitive-linguistic knowledge, in particular that knowledge involved in interpreting and representing linguistic input, and associated expectations regarding new linguistic input. In this study, it was hypothesized that the rudimentary cognitive-linguistic knowledge, present when a child first begins to learn a language, is further developed and changed through the course of first language acquisition, so that second language acquisition may proceed "differently" from first language acquisition. Two factors were proposed as important for the description of acquisition: the specific character of the first language input, and the level of acquisition of the first language systems.
The focus here was on the acquisition of English plurals. Subjects were children ages five to twelve, within three first language groups: The Rule group included subjects whose first languages (Hebrew and Spanish) mark obligatory plurals with predictable, rule-guided forms. The Rote group included subjects whose first language (Arabic) marks obligatory plurals with a complex system of varying forms, for which a predominantly rote-based, item-by-item learning approach is best. The NoPlural group included subjects whose first languages (Japanese and Vietnamese) do not mark obligatory plurals.
Issue Date:1982
Description:115 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8303036
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1982

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