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Universals of Word Formation Processes: Noun Incorporated in the Acquisition of Sāmoan as a Second Language

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Title: Universals of Word Formation Processes: Noun Incorporated in the Acquisition of Sāmoan as a Second Language
Authors: Robinson, Peter J.
Advisor: Richards, Jack C.
Long, Michael H.
Issue Date: 1993
Abstract: Studies of sccond language syntactic acquisition (e.g., Gass 1979; Flynn 1991; White 1989) have been motivated by research into language universals within both typological (Creenberg 1966), and universal grammar (Chomsky 1981) frameworks. In the typological framework learning difficulty is predicted by the relative markedness of the second languagc, when comparcd with the leamer's first languagc (Eckman 1985). In the universal grammar framework learning difficulty is Predicted where there are differences in the paramcter settings of the first and second language (Flynn 1989). Some support exists for the influence of markedness on learning difficulty (e.g., Gass 1979; Pavesi 1986; Doughtye199.1), but there is disagreement about the influence exerted by universal grammar (Bley-Vroman & Chaudron 1990; Flynn & Lust 1990). To date no studies of second language word forrnation processes have been motivated by language universals research from either of these perspectives. This study examines the influence of a proposed implicational hicrarchy (Mithun 1984) and constraints of universal Srammar (Baker 1988) on the acquisition of noun incorporation processes by second language learners of Samoan. The methodology involved reaction time, grammaticality iudgement and response certainty measures of the processing difficulty and acceptability of examples of noun incorporation for English speaking learners of Samoan, with the latter measure guving the clearest support for two hypothesized orders of difficulty.
Pages/Duration: 39 pages
Appears in Collections:Working Papers

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