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Filler-gap dependencies and islands in L2 English production: Comparing transfer from L1 Norwegian and L1 Swedish
University of Toronto, (CAN).
NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NOR).
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.
2023 (English)In: Second language research, ISSN 0267-6583, E-ISSN 1477-0326Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Embedded questions (EQs) are islands for filler-gap dependency formation in English, but not in Norwegian. Kush and Dahl (2022) found that first language (L1) Norwegian participants often accepted filler-gap dependencies into EQs in second language (L2) English, and proposed that this reflected persistent transfer from Norwegian of the functional structure that licenses such filler-gap dependencies. However, their results do not conclusively establish that the judgment patterns were specific to transfer from L1 Norwegian and not a general L2 effect. To address this issue, we conducted elicited production tasks comparing how L1 Norwegian and L1 Swedish speakers complete dependencies into declarative complement clauses and EQs both in their native languages and L2 English. Despite its similarity to Norwegian, Swedish prohibits the filler-gap dependency into EQs that Norwegian allows. We expected participants to complete dependencies that they considered grammatical with gaps and to avoid gaps where they considered them ungrammatical. Our results clearly indicate transfer: L1 Norwegian participants overwhelmingly used gaps when completing dependencies into EQs in both L1 and L2, whereas Swedish participants almost never used gaps in either language. We interpret our results as support for models that allow transfer of functional heads and their associated features from L1 to L2, and suggest that such transfer persists when the L2 input does not provide relevant evidence for restructuring.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2023.
Keywords [en]
filler-gap dependencies; island effects; language production; Norwegian; restructuring; Swedish; transfer
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Specific Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-20755DOI: 10.1177/02676583231172918ISI: 001025272700001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85164527873OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-20755DiVA, id: diva2:1809479
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CC-BY

Funding : Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Available from: 2023-11-03 Created: 2023-11-03 Last updated: 2023-11-03

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Lindahl, Filippa

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • Other style
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  • de-DE
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  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
  • rtf