Chapter 3. Interaction and the Noun Phrase Accessibility Hierarchy

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Following on the extensive findings of the benefits of conversational interaction in second language (L2) learning and the existence of the Accessibility Hierarchy (AH) in L2 learners’ acquisition of relative clauses (RCs), this study considers how RC input provided to L2 learners results in greater production of subject (SUBJ) and direct object (DO) RCs in an interactive context. Using a scripted syntactic priming design, 30 learners of Italian engaged in a picture description activity with the researcher. Priming of both SUBJ RCs and DO RCs was found, with a greater number of SUBJ RCs produced throughout the study. Findings are discussed in terms of the AH and RC acquisition.


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