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Developmental Patterns in L1 and L2 Acquisition

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Victoria Brunet Real

on 30 January 2013

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Transcript of Developmental Patterns in L1 and L2 Acquisition

Show their ability to apply morphological rules to new words:
to inflect, to derive, combine, and finally to analyze compound words.
Material and procedures used for testing the children:
non-sense words were made up following the rules or possible sound combination…
27 picture cards to represent the non-sense words and several actual words were included
Subjects of study:
Harvard Preschool: 12 girls and 7 boys between 4 and 5 years
Driscoll School: 26 boys and 35 girls between 5 and a half and 7 years The Acquisition
of Grammatical
Morphemes 1970s
Investigation of the acquisition of grammatical functors in the L2 acquisition.
Motivated by studies originally focused on L1 acquisition.
Sought to prove also a stable order of acquisition in L2.

Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies measured:
the accuracy with which learners of L2 English performed a range of morphemes. Morpheme Studies Typology analysis of CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDIES Wide sample of participants
At a given point in time. LONGITUDINAL STUDIES Reduced number of participants
Longer period of time
Data collected at multiple points in time. Not broadly used in the investigation of acquisition of grammatical morphemes.
Generally employed in the study other aspects of language development:
For instance, growth of competence
of a learner at different
developmental points.
(Ellis, 1985: 58) Morpheme Studies:
Cross-sectional Studies Morpheme Studies:
Cross-sectional Studies Morpheme Studies:
Longitudinal Studies Morpheme Studies:
Cross-sectional Studies Bilingual Syntax Measure Authors: Marina K. Burt, Heidi C. Dulay, and Eduardo Hernandez Chavez
Individually administered // (10-15min)
Identify a student’s mastery of basic syntactic and grammatical structures.
Test consisting of a series of pictures:
deviced to obtain information on specific features
and which the learners were asked to describe. ACCURACY ORDER
ACQUISITION ORDER The more accurately a morpheme was used the earlier must have been acquired L2 L1 CRITICISM
TO MORPHEME STUDIES The morphemes studied:
only little sample of grammatical features
research void of theoretical motivation Accuracy order not = order of acquisition Research too restricted to a small set of morphemes. Nevertheless we should call attention to the fact that:
Even though both L1 and L2 follow the same sequences of development
L1 and L2 do not share the same order of acquisition.
In SLA both the L1 and other contextual and maturational factors play at least a part in the process. Concluded in their own survey that:

The 'Morpheme Studies' provided strong evidence of the existence of an order of development.

In their own view there are too many studies conducted with methodological rigor and consistency to claim the contrary. Larsen-Freeman and Long (1991) Suggested that even though the former studies show that there are similar developmental patterns in both L1 and L2. Ellis (1985) General
Introduction study the similarities between L1 and L2 learners. Morphological developmental patterns Aim of this project: Focus: Central description of grammatical development over time. Developmental patterns:
cover term coined by Ellis, for the general regularities evident LA.
It subsumes the idea of order and sequence:
1. Order of acquisition: Do learners acquire some features before others?
2. Sequences of acquisition: How learner acquire a particular linguistic feature? Introduction: The study of developmental patterns in L1 acquisition is the starting point.
The most relevant studies conducted on L1 Acquisition:
Berko’s Study The Child’s Learning of English Morphology (1958).
Brown’s study Acquisition Order of Grammatical Morphemes (Brown, 1973).
Jill and Peter de Villiers’s study (1978). Studies conducted on L1 acquisition Berko’s Study II Main aim:
Discover what children learned when they were exposed to English morphology
By using non-sense material designed specially for this study.
E.g.: The correct use of the plural inflectional ending “s” added to an invented noun shows that the rule is internalized: the plural allomorph in English.
Unconsciously without morphological rules vs Morphological rules acquisition. Berko’s Study I. Berko’s Study III Longitudinal study.
Defined acquisition: moment when morpheme was applied in the obligatory context 90%.

Related to different stages of language acquisition.

First morphemes acquired: prepositions, plural and inflectional for of the present continuous.
Last morphemes acquired: copulative, contraction of the auxiliary.
Mastered at the bottom mastered the ones at the top.
The reverse was not found to be true.
Morphemes mastered at different rates.

Simplified list of the grammatical morphemes studied by Rogers
Present progressive -ing (Mommy running)
Plurals –s (two books)
Irregulars past forms (Baby went)
Possessives –‘s (Daddy’s hat)
Copula (Annie is a nice girl)
Articles “the” and “a”
Regular past –ed (She walked)
Third person singular simple present –s (She runs)
Auxiliary “be” (He is coming) Brown’s study I What explains this invariable sequence of development?
1. The frequency of exposure to the morphemes.
contrasted his hypothesis of frequency analysing their parent’s speech,-the frequency of the usage of these morphemes. Conclusion : no relation between the results. The most frequent used morphemes were the articles and these were not the first acquired.
Conclusion: the frequency does not explain the concrete order of acquisition.
2. The linguistic complexity- defined by Brown as accumulative complexity:
Predicted the order of acquisition
Semantic: number of meaning that codifies a morpheme.
Syntactic: number of rules that the morpheme requires., depending on complexity,. E.g.: morpheme that requires the knowledge of x and y is more complex than one that only requires x or y. The more complex will be acquired the last, the auxiliary.
Syntactic point of view: reveals: first morphemes acquired that include lexical categorization. The latter ones are all functional categories.
Comparable morphemes: which share common meaning or grammatical rules.

General conclusion:
Discovery: order of morpheme acquisition not dependant on frequency of exposure (in parental speech).
Concluded: morphemes required in order of syntactic and semantic complexity. Developmental sequences. Brown’s study II A cross sectional study with a large group of children who were at different stages of development and ages.
used correctly the morphemes which the children from Brown’s study had acquired late were also using correctly those learned earlier by Brown children.
Accurately used the “early” morphemes, not necessarily mastered the “late” ones.
Mastered the morphemes at different ages, just as the children of Brown’s study and order was very similar.
Conclusion: children’s learning process were similar to each other and similar to Browns children. Jill Villiers and Peter Villiers study General Conclusion L1 Some structures appear earlier than others
How this pattern is repeated among learners of different backgrounds
How these patterns have been studied in L1 and L2 acquisition. How does this acquisition and particular knowledge function and evolve?
Using descriptive linguistics to gain knowledge of the systems and patterns used by the speakers in language acquisition.
Framework of analysis: creation of a vocabulary test created based on Rinsland’s study which represented of all English morphemes. Test: 27 cards were presented covering:
Formation of the plural
Verb inflections
Formation of possessives
Adjectival inflection
Derivation and compounding
Analysis of compound words

Rule of extension proves knowledge vs. memorizing.
No answered all correctly → demonstrated that they operate with clearly delimited morphological rules.
Contact to varied spoken English. Practice limited vocabulary as effective as extensive vocabulary. No effect on morphological acquisition. Inner pattern → cognitive process.
No difference according to age:
simple plu., possessives, and the progressive tense.
All employed= simplified morphological rules. E.g. plurals |S| or |z| is added.
The least common productive allomorph was last acquired vs. most common first.
More successful in use verbs + possessives vs. nouns.
Prefer the most regular rules. The study concluded that:
Picture emerged: consistency, regularity and simplicity.

New word:
Not treated according to idiosyncratic pattern.
Not modeled on patterns that appear infrequently inflectional endings.
Best performance most regular form with the fewest variants.
Morphemes with several allomorphs: the most common allomorphs used long before dealing with allomorphs in a limited distribution range. Berko’s study IV Berko’s study V To conclude:
Language acquisition follows a fixed pattern.
This pattern is evident in the way all linguistic systems are acquired.
As a result the regularity of this pattern is evident in:
Acquisition of syntactical rules
Acquisition of morphological rules
First language acquisition set the milestone for second language acquisition.
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