EUROSLA Yearbook: Volume 3 (2003)
  • ISSN 1568-1491
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9749
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This study investigates how child speakers of a verb second (V2) language acquire the supposedly more basic SVO word order of English. Data comes from approximately 100 Norwegian school children aged 7 to 12 in their acquisition of three related syntactic constructions. The focus of the investigation is the extent of language transfer from the L1, related to questions of markedness. It is shown that there is considerable transfer of Norwegian word order, and the children need to ‘unlearn’ the V2 rule acquired for their first language in the process of learning English. In a cue-based approach to second language acquisition, the input cues that are necessary to reorganize the children’s internalized grammar are identified, and the frequency of these cues is argued to be responsible for the order of acquisition of the various constructions.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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