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L2 acquisition of non-equivalent linguistic and cognitive categories in Romance and Germanic languages: Transfer revisited

29-30 sept. 2022
Salzburg - Salzburg (Autriche)


Germanic and Romance languages differ in the conceptualization and verbalization of various cognitive categories (e.g. time, perspective, space, motion). These typological differences have been pointed out as an explicative factor for L2 conceptual transfer (Jarvis & Pavlenko 2010, Jarvis 2015). As for motion conceptualizations, evidence has been given on the influence of verb-framed languages' specificities in L2 German figure-oriented conceptualizations, rather than manner-oriented ones (Flecken et al. 2015c). Conversely, learners from languages enabling the expression of motion by satellite elements (such as Italian) show an earlier use of satellite particles in L2 English compared to learners whose L1 lacks satellite adjuncts (Anastasio 2019). Concerning aspectual conceptualizations, it has been shown that the lack of grammatical devices encoding progressive aspect in German and the existence of V-ing in English entails significant differences in the allocation of attentional resources: native speakers of German focusing on the agent of the action performed, whereas native speakers of English focus on the action itself (Flecken et al. 2015b). Apart from conceptual differences, dissimilarities between the L1 and the L2 with respect to the linguistic means used for the expression of the above-mentioned categories (or the lack of certain devices on the whole) often pose a challenge to language learners. In the field of tense-aspect studies, for example, it has been shown that the L1 exerts an important influence on the acquisition of tense and aspect in an L2 (cf. Salaberry 2008 or Bardovi-Harlig & Comajoan-Colomé 2020 for an overview). In this context, several studies illustrate that learners whose L1 lacks grammatical aspect (e.g. German) or whose L1 expresses aspectual notions differently from the target language (i.e. non-equivalent form-meaning mappings), have difficulties acquiring a Romance L2 (cf. e.g. McManus 2015, Diaubalick & Guijarro-Fuentes 2019, González & Quintana Hernández 2018, Salaberry 2011). In order to gain a deeper understanding of the multiple factors having an impact on the acquisition of non-equivalent linguistic and cognitive categories, we would like to discuss the results of different theoretical frameworks as outlined above (linguistic relativity, conceptual transfer and linguistic transfer). Additionally, the use of psycho- and neurolinguistic methods (such as eye-tracking, self-paced reading, ERPs etc.) has proven particularly valuable (cf. e.g. Flecken et al. 2015a, Flecken et al. 2015b, Roberts/Liszka 2021, Papafragou et al. 2008), offering insights from online reception and production processes which are often not accessible by mere offline methodologies. While such methods have already been applied to studies on space and motion, they have hardly been used in the field of tense and aspect. However, the application of these methods to other frameworks as well as the triangulation of perspectives and data retrieved from various theoretical and methodological approaches seems to offer a promising avenue towards a fuller picture of the complex processes underlying the conceptualization and verbalization of (potentially) non-equivalent cognitive categories and their linguistic representations. To this end, the present workshop aims at addressing the following (non-exhaustive) topics: • L1 transfer effects at different stages of L2 acquisition (e.g. the influence of differing form-meaning mappings between the L1 and the L2) • L1/L2 differences regarding the attentional resources used for the conceptualization and verbalization of temporal and aspectual notions • The role of the L1 in the conceptualization and verbalization of dynamic events by L2 learners (e.g. as to motion and spatial relations) • The correlation between linguistic encodings and attentional resources allocated to particular aspects of a process in L1 vs. L2 (e.g. endpoints, ongoingness, frequency) • Pedagogical implications (e.g. the evaluation of specific teaching methods focusing on awareness-raising strategies in the domain of non-equivalent cognitive categories and their linguistic representations).
Discipline scientifique : Linguistique

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