Toegepaste taalwetenschap in discussie
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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his paper deals with the L2 conservation hypothesis. It is argued that, in its initial stages, adult L2 acquisition is primarily determined by the LI grammatical system. The acquisition model presented here is in line with the Full Transfer/Full Access hypothesis of Schwartz and Sprouse but is more specific as for the terms transfer (= conservation) and access, and as for the development of morphology.The learner is using his LI system with a target language vocabulary, which has the paradoxical consequence that the LI impact seems to grow the more L2 the learner acquires. This pattern is illustrated by the acquisition of possessive structures by Turkish and Moroccan adults learning Dutch outside the classroom. They appear to act as linguistically conservative individuals who, initially, generate L2 possessive structures by combining their LI grammatical with their limited L2 vocabulary. Consequently, the Turkish and Moroccan learners have different paths of acquisition. They are similar, however, on a more abstract level. Both groups are able to learn specific new parametric values quite early in the acquisition process, and they both have extreme difficulties in learning L2 morphology.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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