Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • Publication
      5377Scopus© Citations 58
  • Publication
    The relationship between the group and the individual and the acquisition of native speaker variation patterns: a preliminary study
    (De Gruyter, 2007-07)
    The relationship between group and individual has been explored within the variationist paradigm. In L1, group patterns of variation are replicated by the individual. Second language acquisition research is concerned with the individual learner, but second language acquisition variationist researchers tend to group learners. Little empirical evidence exists that such grouping is valid, given the importance of individual variation. This article investigates whether it is meaningful to group learners. This is a longitudinal, quantitative study of the acquisition of variation by Irish speakers of French L2 over three years, of which one is a year abroad experience. Participants are five advanced learners, twenty years old, with five years of French classes at secondary school and two at university. A computer (Varbrul) analysis shows similar patterns in group and individual, in the deletion of ne. Theoretical implications are that it is legitimate to apply group standards to individual speakers and that native speaker variation acquisition is linked to a prolonged stay in the native speaker community.
      683Scopus© Citations 38
  • Publication
    (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
    Language is inherently variable; this applies whether we are talking about a speaker’s first, second or third language. Yet linguistics in the twentieth century tended to focus on the invariant and variation was considered to be a marginal issue. However, focus has increasingly been shifting to variation in linguistic studies. For instance, in a 2010 article in New Scientist, Kenneally says that Evans and Levinson (2009) “believe that languages do not share a common set of rules . . . their sheer variety is a defining feature of human communications . . . Language diversity is the ‘crucial fact for understanding the place of language in human cognition.’” Whether or not one agrees that all languages share a set of rules (Editors’ note, e.g. Universal Grammar; see Chapters 1, 2, this volume), it is increasingly accepted that variation is an important aspect of language.
  • Publication
    Sociolinguistics and Language Learning in a Study Abroad Context
    (Dickinson College, 1998)
    This article will focus on the acquisition of sociolinguistic competence by second language learners during a period of study abroad. Various aspects of sociolinguistic competence will be discussed and some of the principal factors which affect it will be described. Factors which affect sociolinguistic competence emerging from research in the area of study abroad include some which are central to the acquisition of second languages in general: context of acquisition, level of proficiency, degree of contact with native speakers, role of input, individual differences and the issue of native speaker norms. The research described will outline what we know about the sociolinguistic and sociocultural aspects of study abroad. The literature which exists to date on this aspect of second language acquisition (SLA) will be reviewed, including both quantitative and qualitative studies. Finally, we will address the question of the benefits (if any) of studying abroad for the acquisition of sociolinguistic and sociocultural competence. Where possible, an attempt will be made to see how this experience compares with that of learners who have not been abroad. Some of the studies to be discussed in this article were carried out with the explicit intention of focusing on the sociolinguistic area (Marriott 1995; Regan 1995; and Siegal 1995). There are also other year abroad studies which, although not focusing specifically on the sociolinguistic aspects of the process, nevertheless reveal further information about what happens during a study abroad period, for example, Lafford (1995) and Lapkin, Hart and Swain (1995). Various aspects of the acquisition of sociolinguistic competence are addressed in these articles.
  • Publication
    The Acquisition of Community Speech Norms by Asian Immigrants Learning English as a Second Language: a preliminary study
    (Cambridge University Press, 1991-03) ;
    We investigate Vietnamese and Cambodian immigrants' acquisition of the variable (ing), which occurs in progressive tenses, participles, noun phrases, etc., and which can be pronounced [iŋ] or [In]. A VARBRUL 2 program analysis of native speaker speech shows that the production of (ing) is constrained by phonological, grammatical, stylistic, and social factors. An analysis of the nonnative speakers' acquisition of these norms shows that [In] is more frequent before anterior segments (reflecting ease of articulation), and that males use [In] more frequently than females, especially in monitored speech (perhaps reflecting their desire to accommodate to a male native speaker norm rather than to an overall native speaker norm). The analysis also shows evidence of grammatical constraints which are different from those in the native speakers' speech. This difference may reflect the fact that it is easier to acquire the [In] variant in “frozen forms,” such as prepositions, than in productive rules.
      1594Scopus© Citations 141