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Journal Article

L1–L2 convergence in clausal packaging in Japanese and English


Gullberg,  Marianne
Lund University, Sweden;
Language Acquisition Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
The Dynamics of Multilingual Processing, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Brown, A., & Gullberg, M. (2013). L1–L2 convergence in clausal packaging in Japanese and English. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 16, 477-494. doi:10.1017/S1366728912000491.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-746F-2
This research received technical and financial support from Syracuse University, the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, and the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO; MPI 56-384, The Dynamics of Multilingual Processing, awarded to Marianne Gullberg and Peter Indefrey).
This study investigates L1–L2 convergence among bilinguals at an intermediate (CEFR-B2) level of L2 proficiency, focusing on the clausal packaging of Manner and Path of motion. Previous research has shown cross-linguistic differences between English and Japanese in this domain (Allen et al., 2003; Kita & Özyürek, 2003, though note Brown & Gullberg, 2012). We compared descriptions of motion from monolingual English and Japanese speakers to L1 and L2 descriptions from Japanese users of English as a second (ESL) and foreign (EFL) language. Results showed no significant difference between the monolinguals, who predominately used single-clause constructions packaging Manner and Path. However, bilinguals, both ESL and EFL speakers, used significantly more multi-clause constructions in both their L1 and L2. Following Pavlenko (2011a), findings are interpreted as evidence for L1–L2 convergence. We discuss potential bi-directional cross-linguistic influences underpinning the L1–L2 convergence and implications for the restructuring of bilingual systems.