Cross-Linguistic Influence in L3 Portuguese Acquisition: Language Learning Perceptions and the Knowledge and Transfer of Mood Distinctions by Three Groups of English-Spanish Bilinguals
AuthorChild, Michael W.
Second Language Acquisition
Third Language Acquisition
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching
AdvisorCarvalho, Ana M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractInterest in Portuguese has steadily increased over the last decade in universities across both North and South America (Carvalho 2002, 2011), principally among Spanish speakers. Generally speaking, Portuguese for Spanish-speakers courses have been designed around the theory that Spanish-speaking students will benefit from cross-linguistic influence (CLI, or transfer) due to the typological similarity that exists between Portuguese and Spanish (see Júdice, 2000). Related to this, the Typological Primacy Model, or TPM (Rothman, 2011), states that CLI in L3 acquisition principally comes from the language that is perceived to be typologically similar to the target language (psycho-typology, see Kellerman, 1983), resulting in both positive and negative transfer. Although there is a high degree of typological similarity between Spanish and Portuguese, it is unknown whether or not this linguistic proximity is equally salient to all learners and whether or not learners view this linguistic proximity as an advantage or a disadvantage when learning Portuguese. Furthermore, some studies have suggested that the context in which one's Spanish is acquired may play a role in the different types of CLI evident among different Spanish-speaking learners of Portuguese (e.g., Carvalho & da Silva, 2006; Johnson, 2004; Koike & Gualda, 2008). Consequently, Carvalho (2002, 2011) has called for more empirical evidence to shed light on the nature of CLI between Spanish and Portuguese. This dissertation, consisting of three main studies, seeks to answer this call by examining the effects of language background on L3 Portuguese acquisition among three groups of Spanish-speaking bilinguals: L1 Spanish (L1S) bilinguals, L2 Spanish (L2S) bilinguals, and heritage speakers of Spanish (HS bilinguals). Results from both quantitative and qualitative analyses of questionnaire data from the first study suggest that although all participants view Spanish as the principal source of CLI in L3 Portuguese acquisition, L2S bilinguals and HS bilinguals perceive the role of Spanish as significantly more facilitative when learning Portuguese than do L1S bilinguals. The second and third studies used a sentence completion task and a preference/grammaticality judgment task (see Ayoun, 2000) to measure bilingual students' knowledge of mood distinctions in Spanish in obligatory and non-obligatory contexts, respectively, and how they transfer that knowledge to Portuguese. Results indicate that the L2S group scored significantly lower on both measures of mood distinctions in obligatory contexts in Spanish, but transferred over more of their knowledge to Portuguese than either the L1S or HS groups. Similarly, results suggest that L2S bilinguals do not understand the variable nature of mood distinctions in non-obligatory environments, but show almost identical strategies of mood selection in both Spanish and Portuguese. In contrast, L1S and HS bilinguals display knowledge of the variable nature of mood distinctions in Spanish in these contexts but show marked differences in mood selection between the Spanish and Portuguese tasks. The results of these studies contribute to L3 acquisition literature by emphasizing the complexity involved in determining the role of the background languages in CLI and by highlighting the importance of the context of acquisition in CLI. In addition, the results provide more empirical evidence regarding the differences between how different groups of Spanish-speaking bilinguals transfer their knowledge when acquiring L3 Portuguese.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Acquisition versus long-term retention of Japanese words and syntax by children and adults: Implications for the critical period hypothesis in second language learning.Boswell, Paul Duane; Reyna, Valerie; Brainerd, Charles; Aleamoni, Lawrence M. (The University of Arizona., 1993)The critical period hypothesis for second language learning, which states that young children learn additional languages better than adults, lacks unambiguous empirical support as well as a coherent theoretical model. An experimental study was conducted which analyzed child-adult differences in difficulty of acquisition and long-term retention for rules of syntax and words in Japanese, a language unfamiliar to the subjects. The results of this study found no advantage for children over adults either in acquisition or long-term memory. However, relative to the difficulty of acquisition, the children had lower forgetting rates for words than for rules when both materials were learned completely. In the lexical study, the children's performance at retention was closer to the adults' than at acquisition, whereas in the syntax study, the opposite was the case. These results confirm the existence of developmental differences in the forgetting rates of different materials. Such results imply that, if there is an advantage for learning language at an early age, it might be localized in lexical retention.
A unified theory of tone-voice.Archangeli, Diana B.; Peng, Long; Hammond, Michael; Demers, Richard (The University of Arizona., 1992)This thesis studies the interactions of vowel tone with consonantal voice. Briefly, tone-voice interactions refer to: (i) voiced--not voiceless--onsets block high tone spreading; (ii) voiceless--not voiced--onsets block low tone spreading; (iii) sonorant onsets are transparent to both tonal processes. There are many variations to these archetypical patterns of tone-voice interactions. I argue that these variations as well as the archetypical patterns can receive a revealing account from the phonological theory. Specifically, this thesis explores the Prosodic Hypothesis of Tone-Voice, which claims: (i) tone must be represented prosodically (namely, tone is associated to mora); and (ii) tone-voice relations must be expressed by conditions (namely, path conditions, proposed in Archangeli and Pulleyblank (in prep)). By exploiting tonal representations and conditions on tone-voice, the Prosodic Hypothesis provides a principled account of tone-voice in Ngizim, Ewe, and Nupe. The result is a principled theory that unifies the known phonetic and phonological facts about tone-voice and that makes testable predictions about the nature and type of expected tone-voice interactions. In addition to tone-voice, this thesis investigates a range of theoretical issues from tonal representations, to onset representations, to the privative voicing theory to Grounded Phonology (Archangeli and Pulleyblank in prep.). I demonstrate that detailed formal analyses of tone-voice can not only uncover facts about tone-voice, but can also make important contributions to phonological theory.