L2 acquisition of verbal constructions

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The study examines the production of sentences describing motion in L2 learners, focusing on progress in learning verbal constructions, i.e. pairings of verbs of motion and their compatible syntactic frames in English and French. This is an important issue because verbs that are translational equivalents in the two languages do not necessarily share syntactic frames. Following the idea that the overall meaning of a verb is composed of its core meaning and structural meaning, we expected that after associating translational equivalents from L1 and L2, language learners would progressively associate L2 syntactic frames to the core meaning of the verb. However, this was only true for learners of French. Learners of English did not show improvement in sentence production corresponding to their proficiency level.


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