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Fundamentet i svenskan och tyskan: - syntax och informationsstruktur
Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Humanities.
2009 (Swedish)In: Språk & Stil, ISSN 1101-1165, Vol. 19, p. 142-171Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Fundamentet i svenskan och tyskan

This paper investigates second language acquisition of German (L2) and the influence a closely related first language (L1), here Swedish, has on the information-structure in V2 declaratives in the target language. Our article investigates the linguistic material in the first sentence position in V2 declaratives in Bohnacker’s data (2005, 2006) and in new written production data from Swedish L2-learners of German at the initial state, at intermediate level and at advanced level and in Swedish and German L1 control corpora (Rosén 2006).

The initial position in the sentence, the so-called ‘prefield’ (Vorfeld), is of special importance in establishing textual coherence by anchoring the clause in discourse. Whilst almost any type of element can occur in clause-initial position, the so-called ‘prefield’ of Swedish and German, we document language-specific patterns: In free text production the frequencies of the prefield constituent types (e.g. subjects, objects, pronominal and connective adverbials) differ substantially between the two languages. Swedish prefers to fill the prefield with thematic elements and elements of no or low informational value (e.g. expletives) to a far greater extent than German. Our findings show that the information structure in the German L2-productions is closer to the Swedish information structure. Learners also seem to have problems with the thematic progression in their L2-production. In contrast, their V2 syntax is almost native-like, which indicates that their V2 syntax is transferred from their first language. In spite of native-like syntax, our results indicate that learners at all proficiency levels have problems with the acquisition of the language-specific linguistic means that have an impact on information structuring. They over-apply the Swedish principle of “rheme later” in their L2 German, indicating L1 transfer in a domain other than pure syntax, especially concerning structures that are frequent in their L1 (e.g. subject-initial clauses and fronted thematic objects das ‘det’).

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Nordiska, Uppsala universitet , 2009. Vol. 19, p. 142-171
Keywords [en]
information structure, L1 Swedish, L2 German, transfer, discourse, thematic progression, prefield, second language acquisition, production, coherence, V2 declarative.
Keywords [sv]
informationsstruktur, L1 svenska, L2 tyska, tematisk progression, fundament, andraspråksinlärning, koherens, V2-påståendesatser, textproduktion, främmande språk, didaktik, fundament, transfer
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URN: urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-6299OAI: oai:DiVA.org:vxu-6299DiVA, id: diva2:279024
Available from: 2009-12-01 Created: 2009-12-01 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Rosén, Christina

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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