The effect of L2 onset on L2 and L3 learning: The case of native speakers of burkinabe languages

Alain Hien, Ryan Spring

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

L1 Burkinabe speakers generally become nativelevel speakers of French by adulthood, as Frenchis the official second language of their countryand is used in their daily life, but learn English asa foreign language is later in their lives.However, as their L2 and L3 containgrammatical markings that are sometimes moresimilar to each other and sometimes more similarto the L1, such as with progressive/perfectiveconstructions, it is unclear how this multi-lingualenvironment will influence the acquisition ofsuch constructions. In the present paper, weexamine a number of factors thought to influenceL1 Burkinabe learners' ability to acquireprogressive constructions in L2 French and L3English to see if onset age (as proposed by thecritical period hypothesis) or the number of yearsspent learning (often offered as an alternativeexplanation) influences acquisition, as well as ifthe acquisition of L2 French influences that ofL3 English (as per L3 acquisition research).Multi-variate regression analyses showed that thenumber of years studying French was the bestpredictor of French progressive marking ability,but that onset age of L2 French was the bestpredictor of L3 English progressive markingability, having a strong negative effect due tonegative transfer from L2 French.

Original languageEnglish
Pages187-195
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event32nd Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 2018 - Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 2018 Dec 12018 Dec 3

Conference

Conference32nd Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 2018
CountryHong Kong
CityHong Kong
Period18/12/118/12/3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)

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