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Bookmark and Share Paper 1631

Semantic Universals and Variation in L2 Article Choice
Heejeong Ko, Alex Perovic, Tania Ionin, and Ken Wexler
118-129 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper investigates how semantic universals of definiteness, specificity, and partitivity affect L2-article choice with two typologically different L1-groups: L1-Serbo-Croatian and L1-Korean learners of L2-English. The paper also examines whether different semantic factors contribute to L2-article choice equally. Based on experimental data, the paper argues that semantic universals are accessible to L2-learners regardless of their L1, but that some semantic factors may be more persistent than others in causing L2-article errors. The effects of each semantic factor may vary depending on learners' overall L2-proficiency. Specifically, it is argued that partitivity effects are more persistent than specificity effects; consequently, more advanced L2-learners are more sensitive to partitivity effects than specificity effects.

Published in

Proceedings of the 9th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2007)
edited by Roumyana Slabakova, Jason Rothman, Paula Kempchinsky, and Elena Gavruseva
Table of contents
Printed edition: $280.00