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L2 Acquisition of English 'Verb + Prepositional Phrase' and 'Verb + Particle' Constructions by Persian Speakers
Mohammad Javad Rezai
114-123 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper examines the acquisition of English VPPs and VPC constructions by Persian learners of English. The two syntactic properties in English enjoy the same linear but different distributional features. Such syntactic features are absent in Persian due to the lack of VPCs in general and the discontinuous complex predicate in particular. This asymmetry poses a learnability paradox for Persian speakers. The results show that the L2 learners have acquired the subtle syntactic distinctions between VPPs and VPC properties such as pied-piping and adverbial insertion. This in turn adds plausible support to the 'poverty of the stimulus' argument from the perspective of distributional syntax.

Published in

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
Printed edition: $220.00