Lexical Features in Oral Interlanguage: The Acquisition of Multifunctional Words by Adult Jamaican Learners of French

By Hugues Peters.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A central assumption within the minimalist framework
(Chomsky 1995) is that lexical items are bundles of
grammatical, semantic and phonetic features, and that the
syntactic objects generated by the language faculty are
nothing more than rearrangements of features selected from
the lexicon. In this perspective, second language
acquisition reduces to the task of acquiring the language
specific grammatical, semantic and phonetic specifications
of vocabulary items, the abstract morphological features of
functional categories, and rules of morpho-syntactic mapping
(van Hout et al. 2003). Applying computerized language
analysis software to a longitudinal corpus of spontaneous
oral productions of adult Jamaican learners of French in a
guided environment, I analyse the development of a
multi-functional lexical item, the preposition “pour” (for,
in order to), in the interlanguage of an individual learner.
Interested in the effects that the rich language background
of Creole societies has on L2 acquisition, I emphasize the
transfer influence from the native system (Jamaican Creole
(JC) – Standard Jamaican English (SJE) continuum) in the
acquisition of this item, and suggest possible avenues of
remediation concerning classroom instructed learning.

Keywords: Lexical Features, Adult Second Language Acquisition, Oral Interlanguage Corpus, French Preposition “Pour”, Jamaican Creole Continuum

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp.97-108. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.239MB).

Dr. Hugues Peters

University Lecturer, School of Languages and Linguistics, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Dr. Peters is Lecturer in French and French program convenor within the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. He received his Master in Romance Philology from the Université Libre de Bruxelles and his PhD in French from the Pennsylvania State University. He taught at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, and held a research position at the University of Geneva. His research interests include the syntax of French, especially the syntax of negation, the acquisition of French as a second language, and linguistic approaches to French poetry. He is currently working on a pedagogical grammar of French for native speakers in collaboration with the University of Geneva.

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