This paper investigates the role of transfer in the second language acquisition of English plural morphology by native Chinese speakers. The main claim is that phonological models of L2 acquisition cannot adequately account for the acquisition data, but that a model of morphosyntactic transfer offers the most comprehensive account. In particular, the Failed Functional Features Hypothesis (Hawkins and Chan 1997), which proposes that morphosyntactic features that are absent in the L1 are unavailable in the L2, is adopted to account for both the types and the distribution of errors observed in L2 acquisition of English plural morphology.
Proceedings of the 8th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2006): The Banff Conference
edited by Mary Grantham O'Brien, Christine Shea, and John Archibald
Table of contents