Thursday, September 15, 2016

Upcoming ANU Language Teaching Forum

  • Monday 19 September 2016, 4.15 – 5.15 pm
  • Room W3.03, Level 3, Baldessin Precinct Building #110, ANU
  • Speaker: Haruka Woods, CHL, CAP, ANU

Title: Influence of L1 onto L2 acquisition: A case of the topic/subjective markers in Japanese and the word order in Spanish

This study investigates L1 Spanish speakers’ acquisition of L2 Japanese wa and ga, which are a topic marker and a subject marker respectively, with a particular focus on the influence of Spanish subject-verb (SV) and verb-subject (VS) word order. It has been widely accepted that Spanish word order is influenced not only by discourse factors but also semantic factors (Hatcher, 1956; Contreras, 1976; among others). In contrast, the choice of wa and ga in Japanese is basically decided by discourse factors (Kuno, 1975). As a result, in terms of subject topicalisation, there is a mismatch between the choice of wa and ga in Japanese and SV and VS order in Spanish, which is predicted to influence the acquisition of these Japanese particles. I undertook a survey in order to identify this cross-linguistic influence which involved 17 L1 Spanish/L2 Japanese speakers. The results indicated that there was a clear association between the choice of wa and ga and Spanish word order, and identified some specific areas where L1 Spanish speakers had particular difficulty in making the valid choice.
This forum is jointly coordinated by the College of Arts & Social Sciences (the School of Literature, Languages & Linguistics and the Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies) and the College of Asia & the Pacific (the School of Culture, History & Language).

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