The Acquisition of “Verb+Preposition Combinations” By L2 Learners of English

Gozde, Bahadir (2012) The Acquisition of “Verb+Preposition Combinations” By L2 Learners of English. In: 2nd International Conference on Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics (FLTAL’12), 4-6 May 2012, Sarajevo.

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“Verb+preposition combination” refers to non-idiomatic constructions composed of a verb and a preposition such as look at, believe in, etc. The combinations investigated here are not phrasal verbs although they look like phrasal verbs in being multi-word expressions composed of a verb and a preposition. The difference is that in phrasal verbs at least one of the components is used idiomatically, whereas in V+P combinations neither the main verb, nor the particle loses its original meaning. The prepositions in V+P combinations are also different from the prepositions that denote time, location, direction or position and that can be followed by various different verbs. In V+P combinations, each verb can only precede a particular preposition for each lexical meaning. The present research investigates the acquisition of English V+P combinations by adult L2 learners. The study comprises of a test battery with two grammaticality judgment tasks, a partial written production task and a mini-questionnaire. 57 beginning and intermediate-level learners of English as L2, whose native language is Turkish participated in the study. The tasks included sentences with English V+P combinations. If the verbs and prepositions are translated literally into L1, the resulting verb precedes a suffix instead of a preposition as Turkish is an agglutinated language. However, although some morphemes are equivalent to certain prepositions, when it comes to V+P combinations, there are mismatches which potentially affect learners’ performances. The results indicate that although the more advanced learners performed better in the overall test, even the most advanced ones still have problems processing English V+P combinations which do not match with their Turkish equivalents. These findings will be discussed in the light of the Full Transfer/Full Access (FT/FA) Model of Schwartz and Sprouse (1996).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Depositing User: Mr. IT Center Editor
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2012 08:09
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2012 08:09

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