Cross-Linguistic Influence in the L2 Acquisition of Korean Case Particles by Japanese-Speaking and English-Speaking Learners: L1-L2 Proximity and Learner Perceptions

Lucien Brown, Noriko Iwasaki

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This study employs longitudinal data collected from multiple sources to investigate the acquisition of Korean case particles by 6 learners, 3 with an L1 that has case particles (Japanese) and 3 with an L1 without such a system (English), focusing both on group and individual factors. The findings show that L1-L2 proximity was only an advantage for the Japanese learners in some areas of particle acquisition, namely the use of delimiters (particles marking nominative, accusative, genitive, topic). In the use of postpositions (particles marking dative, locative, comitative, instrumental), the English learners were just as accurate. Also, the Japanese learners produced errors that appeared to result from L1 influence. Notably, they were less consistent than the L1 English learners in supplying particles in obligatory contexts. By interviewing the participants, we found that individual perceptions of proximity (on grammatical, phonological and lexical levels) and associated language use strategies were crucial in explaining the use of Korean particles by these learners. These results draw attention to the importance of individual learner perceptions and strategies in cross-linguistic influence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-195
Number of pages20
JournalElectronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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