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Bookmark and Share Paper 1058

The Acquisition of Relative Clauses in a Third Language: Comparing Adults and Children
Inna Vinnitskaya, Suzanne Flynn, and Claire Foley
340-345 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper offers evidence that the role of a first language (L1) is not privileged over the role of a second language (L2) in the development of a third language (L3). A study of the L3 acquisition of English by speakers of L1 Kazakh and L2 Russian compared children's and adults' success at production of lexically headed and free relative clauses. The L3 matches the L2, but not the L1, in branching direction. Results suggest that adults are able to take advantage of their L2 experience in mapping to the target L3. Children, whose acquisition of the L2 and L3 is still in progress, differed in their rate of successful relative clause production, revealing patterns that resemble those for L1 English.

Published in

Proceedings of the 6th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2002): L2 Links
edited by Juana M. Liceras, Helmut Zobl, and Helen Goodluck
Table of contents
Printed edition: $340.00