Based on production data, Ionin, et al. (2004) reported that Korean and Russian L2 learners of English, whose L1s lack articles, fluctuated between the two settings of the Article Choice Parameter, viz., Specificity/Definiteness. When learners distinguished articles on the basis of specificity (as in Samoan), they used the (instead of a) with specific indefinites. When they distinguished articles based on definiteness (as in English), they used a with specific indefinites. The authors report the results of a study that investigated the Specificity hypothesis in L2 article semantics through a context-embedded, online and an offline experiment. Eighteen intermediate and advanced Korean L2 learners of English and fourteen native-English controls completed a word-by-word, self-paced moving-window reading task and an offline semantic acceptability-rating task. The online task results indicated that only the intermediate learners adhered to the specificity setting. The offline task results indicated the intermediate learners fluctuated between the two settings but that the advanced learners, similar to native speakers, adhered to the definiteness setting.
Proceedings of the 9th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2007)
edited by Roumyana Slabakova, Jason Rothman, Paula Kempchinsky, and Elena Gavruseva
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