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Title:The Development of Verbal Morphology in Instructed Italian L2A
Author(s):Rodgers, Daryl
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Musumeci, Diane
Department / Program:Italian
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Bilingual and Multicultural
Abstract:Eighty-five university-level L2 learners of Italian were assigned to one of three proficiency levels and completed a picture identification task, a picture description task, and a primed lexical decision task. Reaction times (RT) and accuracy scores were submitted to a series of repeated-measures ANOVAs, and error patterns were analyzed inferentially and descriptively. Results revealed that certain forms (e.g., 1st person singular) of the verbal system are understood and produced with greater speed and accuracy than others (e.g., 2nd and 3rd persons plural). Also, certain forms tended to be exchanged or used in exchanges more frequently than others, indicating the possible instability of such forms in learners' underlying linguistic systems. These patterns generally held true for all learners, albeit to a greater or lesser degree depending on proficiency and modality (i.e., production or comprehension). Moreover, the patterns that arose were similar in some respects to those already found in child L1A and adult, uninstructed L2A. However, important differences were also noted. Finally, there was evidence of the increasing automatization of verbal morphology with increasing proficiency in both comprehension and production. Although the online measurement provided further evidence for this automatization, findings were mitigated by a lack of frequency effects at any level of proficiency. Results provide important theoretical and practical contributions to the field of SLA by expanding upon existing models and theories, and by investigating previously uncharted territory.
Issue Date:2007
Description:243 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3290363
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2007

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