Titel: Demonstratives in Third Language Acquisition
Sonstige Titel: Demonstrativa im Drittspracherwerb
Sprache: Englisch
Autor*in: Barkallah, Stefanie
Schlagwörter: Third Language Acquisition; Language dominance; bilingual heritage speaker
GND-Schlagwörter: SpracherwerbGND
Erscheinungsdatum: 2022
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 2022-10-26
This dissertation focused on crosslinguistic influence (CLI) in the research field of second and third language acquisition, bilingualism, heritage speakers and multilingualism. The role of the background languages as influencing factors was examined in second and third language learners of English. The participants were monolingual Germans, unbalanced heritage speakers of Russian-German and Turkish-German and native speakers of English. The bilinguals grow up in Germany and learn English as the third language in school. The use of demonstratives by these bilinguals were compared to the performance of German monolinguals who learn English as the second language in school. As a control, the performance of English (adult) native speakers was compared to the other language groups. The research question was whether one of the background languages serves as a source of CLI, namely whether German as the dominant language or the heritage languages Russian and Turkish influenced the use of demonstratives in written English or both background languages. Hence, we presented and discussed different theories and models of third language acquisition, such as the absolute L1 transfer (Hermas 2014), the L2 Status Factor Model (Bardel & Falk 2007), the Cumulative Enhancement Model (Flynn et al. 2004), the Typological Primacy Model (Rothman 2011), the Linguistic Proximity Model (Westergaard et al. 2017) and the Scalpel Model (Slabakova 2017). Furthermore, we discussed whether the unbalanced bilingual heritage speakers have an advantage over monolinguals or whether the monolinguals outperformed the bilinguals. Therefore, additional social background variables were examined, too, i.e., the socio-economic status, age, gender, the type of school, school grades, the language use of bilinguals and the attitudes towards English.
Since this study investigated young, unbalanced heritage speakers who learn English as the third language in school, we significantly add to third language acquisition, because other study mostly focused on balanced bilinguals. In addition, our data sample contains a large number of participants (n=318), and the use of demonstratives is rarely examined in other studies in third language acquisition. As a basis for this dissertation, the data of the project Mehrsprachigkeitsentwicklung im Zeitverlauf (MEZ) was used. This study was carried out by the University of Hamburg between 2015 and 2018 and collected data at four different time periods. Two age cohorts, namely 12- and 16-year-old students, with the background languages Russian and Turkish were examined. In this study, we used data from wave 1a. The written task was to write about a typical German breakfast. In addition, the participants had a picture story that included nine pictures. For the English natives, we adapted this story and used new pictures that we provided via SoScisurvey. Within 30 minutes, the participants had to write about the German or English breakfast like a journalist. In addition, they had to fill in two background questionnaires. One included questions about personal information, i.e., age, gender, foreign languages, friends, motivation to learn English. The other concerned social networks, linguistic skills, and attitudes towards school and additional languages. Within the online survey for the English natives, additional questions regarding their age, gender and languages were addressed, too. Since the English natives are adults, we divided them into 20- and 40-year-old participants. Then, we coded the data manually and analyzed the formal correctness of demonstratives. The central part of this dissertation were four case studies. First, the overall use of demonstrative and its three categories wasanalyzed. Second, the use of articles, namely definite, indefinite and zero articles were examined. The third case study focused on subclauses as a counterpart to the use of demonstratives and finally, the last case study investigated lexical transfer.
In sum, we identified differences between the language groups of second and third language learners of English which mostly fade with increasing age. Due to the dominant status, we argue that German is the main source for cli-effects, visible in lexical transfer. Furthermore, the proficiency in the heritage language is probably lower. Another variable that explains the results is the typological similarity between German and English. We found a monolingual advantage in the use of formal correctness of demonstratives which occurred in the older cohort and a bilingual advantage in the occurrence of lexical transfer. In the Russian group, an advantage as well as a disadvantage were found, too. In general, the acquisition of a third language is not automatically facilitative when someone is an unbalanced heritage speaker.
URL: https://ediss.sub.uni-hamburg.de/handle/ediss/10609
URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:18-ediss-113887
Dokumenttyp: Dissertation
Betreuer*in: Siemund, Peter
Fuchs, Robert
Enthalten in den Sammlungen:Elektronische Dissertationen und Habilitationen

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