The acquisition of morphology in a corpus of secondary school EFL learners: a focus on possessive ‘-s’
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DepartamentoUniversidad de Granada. Departamento de Filologías Inglesa y Alemana
Second language acquisitionAdquisición de segundas lenguasMorpheme order studiesCorpus de aprendicesL2 EnglishL3 GermanPossessiveGenitiveGenitivoMorfología
PatrocinadorTrabajo fin de máster, Universidad de Granada, Departamento de Filologías Inglesa y Alemana. Curso académico 2011-2012
This paper consists of three separate studies. The principal one is a morpheme order study (MOS) based on our own learner corpus which contains learner language from secondary school students. For this study we were partly based on previous relevant projects, but our research is distinct in two core points. The first relates to the data elicitation instrument (learner corpus) which is a novel and promising approach in the field of second language acquisition research. The second regards the scoring method used in our project in order to establish the accuracy rates for each of the grammatical morphemes at issue. Regarding this, our study’s novelty relies on the combination of the most accurate relevant scoring models that have been previously suggested. Our second study focuses on a specific functor, namely the possessive –s. In this regard we have studied not only the accuracy rates of the aforementioned inflectional possession structure, but also its frequency of use in relation to the other possession forms in English. In keeping with the perceived importance of the data elicitation instrument, we have decided to use two different methods (a learner corpus and an experiment) with our L2 English learners and thus deliver more accurate results. Our final study accounts for the use of the various possession forms in L3 German. This study has two distinct focal points. The first refers to the learners’ preference for one of the possessive forms available in German as seen by our subjects’ corresponding choices. In this regard, we have also compared the frequency of use of each of the possession structures in both L2 English and L3 German. The other point of interest of our third study was the possible influence of our students’ L2 (English) on the acquisition of their L3 (German) as seen by our subjects’ use of the various possessive forms. In all our studies we have classified our subjects according to their proficiency level, which we determined by means of a corresponding test. This is a very distinctive feature of our study since most previous studies on this field have either not considered the subjects’ level of proficiency or they have determined it based on criteria other than an actual proficiency test.