The study of second language learners interlanguage is a fascinating topic of enquiry in its own right, as it combines inter and intra-individual variation with a definite structural systematicity, not completely reducible to the native language (L1), nor to the target language (L2). This study follows the development of the syntax of the Determiner Phrase (Abney 1987) in a longitudinal oral corpus of Jamaican adult learners of French within a classroom instructed environment, from the intermediate to the advanced level of proficiency (Peters 2005). In this paper, a comparison is presented of the main features of the syntax of the determiner phrase in French (Laenzlinger 2005), where extensive DP-internal movement occurs because of strong functional categories, and the main features of Jamaican Creole (Stewart 2006, Durleman-Tame 2008), where only limited movement takes place (as in possibly the post-nominal marker “dem”). It is followed by the analysis of the main characteristics of the DP in the interlanguage of individual learners (choice of determiner, gender and number agreement, structural complexity of the DP, and position of adjective phrases) in order to document the possible influence of two distinct native grammatical systems, (Jamaican Creole and English continuum), on the acquisition of a foreign language.
|Keywords:||Jamaican Creole, French, Linguistics, Syntax of Determination, Second Language Acquisition|
University Lecturer, School of Languages and Linguistics, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
University Lecturer, Department of Language, Linguistics and Philosophy, The University of the West Indies, Kingston, Mona, Jamaica
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