TTW: De nieuwe generatie
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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This article deals with the influence of a learner's native language in the acquisition of L2 derivational morphology. Do learners acquire morphologically complex words like 'learnable' and 'explanation' as unanalysed units or do they acquire and store the stems ('learn'; 'explain') and generate/analyse these forms by using word formation rules? A linguistic model of the lexicon which enables both direct retrieval and generation/analysis on the basis of word formation rules is applied to second language acquisition by distinguishing formal and semantic/syntactic rules. Based on a comparative description of English and Dutch in these terms, a small scale empirical investigation was set out. The results of this research indicate that the primary determinant of the analysability of morphologically complex words is transparency, which is defined from the learner's point of view and is dependent on all prior linguistic knowledge of the learner, including L1. Furthermore, the research indicates that semantic/syntactic similarities between the languages have a greater facilitating effect than formal similarities.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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