University of Cambridge > > MEITS Multilingualism Seminars > Linguistic intuitions beyond grammatical correctness: evidence from untutored L2 learners

Linguistic intuitions beyond grammatical correctness: evidence from untutored L2 learners

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Adult L2 learners are widely and unanimously reported to perform badly with respect to inflectional morphology, in particular with bound morphemes. This shows in the lack of markings for tense and plural, for example, observed in production and confirmed by comprehension tests.

The observation holds for speakers whose L1 is morphologically rich, such as Turkish, or poor, such as Chinese. Beyond showing lack of knowledge of the relevant language, the phenomenon has normally been taken as an indication that L2 learners┬┤ utterances aim at conveying meaning on the basis of lexical items, but without any particular grammatical organisation. In this presentation I will use evidence from learners of German and Dutch to shed light on alternative means used by (untutored) L2 learners to convey information about tense and number, that reveal their linguistic intuitions and the solutions found to express them.

This talk is part of the MEITS Multilingualism Seminars series.

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