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Share Paper 3210

Indirect Positive Evidence in the Acquisition of a Subset Grammar in Phonology
Misha Schwartz and Heather Goad
102-109 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Research in second language acquisition has presumed that acquiring an aspect of grammar that is a subset of a speaker's first language is difficult due to the amount and type of evidence typically available to the learner. In this paper, it is proposed that a new type of evidence may facilitate the acquisition of a subset grammar: indirect positive evidence (IPE). IPE is evidence from errors that native speakers of the learner's L2 make in the learner's native language. This paper experimentally examines whether native speakers of English can acquire the phonotactic constraints that hold of word initial clusters in Brazilian Portuguese (BP), which are a subset of English word initial clusters, using IPE only. After listening to a seven minute long dialogue of BP-accented English, participants were able to make BP-like judgements of word initial consonant clusters. This suggests that learners can rely on IPE to facilitate language acquisition.

Published in

Proceedings of the 6th Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA 2015)
edited by Laurel Perkins, Rachel Dudley, Juliana Gerard, and Kasia Hitczenko
Table of contents
Printed edition: $320.00