Volume 9, Issue 6
  • ISSN 1879-9264
  • E-ISSN: 1879-9272
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This paper provides an overview of the Prosodic Transfer Hypothesis (PTH), which accounts for certain difficulties that learners experience with L2 morphosyntax. We focus on inflection and articles, which have often been accounted for through defective syntactic representations or problems with the interface between morphology and syntax (inflection) and between semantics or discourse/pragmatics and syntax (articles). We argue that some problems in these domains reflect transfer of L1 prosodic constraints: certain forms cannot be prosodically represented as target-like and hence are omitted or mispronounced. We trace how the PTH has developed over time, from its initial instantiation as involving permanent L1 transfer, to currently, where L1 representations are seen as adaptable to the needs of the L2, and new representations can in fact be acquired. We provide an overview of work conducted in this framework and discuss how the theory has been extended beyond production to encompass comprehension and processing.


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Keyword(s): articles , inflection , omission , prosodic transfer and substitution
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