General programme, activity sheet

Thursday 8 September, 2016 11:30 to 12:00 Oral presentation
Object Shift in L2 Norwegian
Speaker: Kristine Bentzen, University of Tromsø - The Arctic University of Norway
Speaker: Merete Andersen, The University of Tromsø - The Arctic University of Norway

Authors: Merete Anderssen, Kristine Bentzen, Anne Dahl, Jelena Didriksen, Björn Lundquist, Marit Westergaard


This paper investigates L2 acquisition of Norwegian Object Shift (OS). While DP objects remain in situ in Norwegian (1a), pronominal (referential) objects typically move across negation (1b). However, pronominal (non-referential) objects with full clause antecedents tend not to move (1c) (Bentzen et al. 2013). (1) a. Hun brukte *sminke ikke/ikke sminke. she used makeup not not makeup “She didn’t wear makeup.” b. Tor kjøpte den ikke/*ikke den. Tor bought it not not it “Tor didn’t buy it.” c. Maria vil at de skal flytte. Magnus vil *det ikke/ikke det. Maria wants that they will move Magnus wants that not not that “Maria wants them to move. Magnus doesn’t want that.” L1 acquisition studies reveal that OS is acquired late (Anderssen et al. 2012). However, once children employ OS, they never shift pronominal objects that do not shift in adult Norwegian. Anderssen et al. (2010, 2012) argue that OS is acquired late due to both low input frequency of referential pronominal objects and complexity. We expect OS to be delayed also in L2. In this study, 76 adult L2 learners of Norwegian and 51 native Norwegian controls completed grammaticality judgements involving variable object placement (Neg-Obj/Obj-Neg) in three conditions: DP-objects, referential pronominal objects (RefPronObj) and non-referential pronominal objects (NonRefPronObj). Results show that while native controls typically shift RefPronObj, clearly distinguishing them from NonRefPronObj, L2 learners generally prefer all objects in situ and do not distinguish RefPronObj and NonRefPronObj. Preliminary results suggest that speakers with L1s allowing object scrambling generally accept shifted objects more readily. We discuss the L2 data in relation to both the L1 control data and previous L1 acquisition studies. The infrequency and complexity of OS cause delays in L1 acquisition; frequency in particular may also affect L2 acquisition. Alternatively, L1 cross-linguistic influence may cause inter-speaker variation in L2.
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Teaching and learning of languages
Place: Room B-11

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