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Processes in Third Language Acquisition

Processes in Third Language Acquisition

Edited by Björn Hammarberg
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 184
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  • Book Info
    Processes in Third Language Acquisition
    Book Description:

    This volume brings together six case studies of an adult multilingual speaker who acquires a new language through social interaction. The book deals especially with the multilingual situation, the learner’s acquisitional activities, and the involvement of background languages in the process of speaking. It offers a coherent study of various linguistic phenomena in one individual, including patterns and functions of language switching, word search in interaction, hypothetical construction of words, and articulatory settings in speaking. The main languages involved are English (L1), German (L2) and Swedish (L3). The activation of these languages in the learner’s speech is examined in a cognitive perspective in relation to current models of the speaking process. A longitudinal corpus of NNS–NS conversations covering 21 months from the beginner stage provides the main data for these studies._x000B_Key Features:_x000B_*Presents an example of an active and purposeful language acquirer_x000B_*Explores cross-linguistic influence in a multilingual setting_x000B_*Highlights the significance of prior L2 knowledge in L3 performance_x000B_*Useful for students and researchers interested in second and third language acquisition, individual multilingualism and the human speaking process._x000B_

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-3512-2
    Subjects: Linguistics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Björn Hammarberg
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. List of tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-16)
    Björn Hammarberg

    In the last few years, systematic research on third language acquisition has gained momentum and attracted increasing attention as a crucial part of the wider field of individual multilingualism.¹ The studies presented here zoom in on the acquisitional activities of the individual learner and the patterns of crosslinguistic influence which arise in the multilingual setting.

    Non-native language acquisition has for the most part been studied in terms of foreign or ‘second’ language acquisition (SLA). Even if it is understood that learners often know more languages, the possible influence of prior non-native languages on the process of acquisition has in the...

  7. CHAPTER 1 A study of third language acquisition
    (pp. 17-27)
    Björn Hammarberg and Sarah Williams

    Quite often, adult language learners are already familiar with one or more second languages at the point at which they start learning a new one. This type of situation is probably becoming even more frequent in the present-day society, due to several factors: an increase in travelling and working abroad, greater focus on languages in education, greater exposure to other languages through the media, and so on. Prior L₂ knowledge is often mentioned as a source of influence on the acquisition of a new language. Despite this, there have as yet been very few comprehensive studies carried out in order...

  8. CHAPTER 2 Language switches in L₃ production: Implications for a polyglot speaking model
    (pp. 28-73)
    Sarah Williams and Björn Hammarberg

    In the majority of studies of crosslinguistic influence in L₂ acquisition, usually only the L₁ is taken into account. In the case of a bilingual or polyglot, this may well be an oversimplification of the situation. A previously learned language (referred to here as an L₂) may also have an influence on a learner’s production in a new target language (referred to here as L₃). The aim of the following is to explore similarities and differences in the occurrence of L₁ English and L₂ German in what we refer to as non-adapted language switches using a case study of the...

  9. CHAPTER 3 Re-setting the basis of articulation in the acquisition of new languages: A third language case study
    (pp. 74-85)
    Björn Hammarberg and Britta Hammarberg

    It has long been recognised that languages differ phonetically not only in their distinctive segments and prosodic features, but also in the characteristic ways in which the phonetic gestures are ‘set’, i.e. the Artikulationsbasis, articulatory settings (Honikman 1964; Laver 1980), or phonetic settings (Laver 1994). The discussion of Artikulationsbasis has a long history in the phonetic literature, especially from the point of view of the overall characterisation and contrastive description of the pronunciation of different languages (see Kelz 1971; Laver 1978; Jenner 2001 for historical accounts). Not least the great nineteenth-century phoneticians, such as Sievers, Viëtor, Sweet and Jespersen, emphasised...

  10. CHAPTER 4 The learner’s word acquisition attempts in conversation
    (pp. 86-100)
    Björn Hammarberg

    For language learners, spoken interaction with target language speakers not only has the function of achieving communication, but also has an acquisitional role in providing opportunities for the learners to expand their interlanguage, chances which different learners will exploit to varying degrees. Formulation attempts furnish occasions for a learner to search, establish, practise and consolidate new expressions, either in spontaneous use in passing or in active cooperation with the interlocutor. Especially the latter case, where the learner appeals to the target language speaker, offers the researcher a possibility to study the acquisitional attempts in detail. Our focus here will be...

  11. CHAPTER 5 Activation of L₁ and L₂ during production in L₃: A comparison of two case studies
    (pp. 101-126)
    Björn Hammarberg

    The research in recent years on language acquisition by multilinguals has clearly shown that not only the first language, but also languages acquired after the first tend to become activated when the learner attempts to learn an additional language. Studies reported so far with different combinations of languages and different types of learners display a variation as to the extent and ways in which learners draw on previously acquired languages – L₁ and L₂ – when performing in a new language. These prior languages will here be subsumed under the term background languages. A great deal of the discussion has come to...

  12. CHAPTER 6 The factor ‘perceived crosslinguistic similarity’ in third language production: How does it work?
    (pp. 127-153)
    Björn Hammarberg

    A major theme in the present series of case studies of a multilingual language learner has been the involvement of the learner’s background languages in her use and acquisition of the current L₃. In earlier studies (see Chapters 2 and 5 in particular), a number of interacting factors were discussed which have been found to promote influence from L₁ or a prior L₂ on the L₃ production process. Put in other terms, we are dealing with factors which cause crosslinguistic spreading of activation of linguistic knowledge from a background language (BL) onto the speaking process during formulation in L₃. It...

  13. Appendix 1: Key to transcription
    (pp. 154-155)
  14. Appendix 2: SW’s narration of the picture story Hunden ‘The dog’
    (pp. 156-158)
  15. References
    (pp. 159-167)
  16. Index
    (pp. 168-172)