International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

Transfer in L3 Acquisition: Is it Holistic or Property-Based?
Karima Ben Abbes

This study investigated the predictions of current L3 models in the learning of three morpho-syntactic properties (i) gender (ii) number concord (iii) and articles by two groups of beginner L3 French learners: L1 Spanish-L2 English and L1 Turkish-L2 English. Using quantitative and qualitative instruments, results of the Spanish group have shown support for holistic transfer based on typological proximity (the TPM, Rothman, 2011, 2013, 2015), whereas the Turkish results seem to support transfer on a property-by-property basis (the LPM, Westergaard, et al., 2016). This study concludes that when L1 or L2 is clearly typologically similar to the L3 (lexically, syntactically, morphologically, and is also of the same family origin of the L3), the parser would transfer all the properties of that language to the L3 grammar on a holistic basis. However, if L1 and L2 are both typologically distant from L3, though one of them might be lexically much closer to the L3 than the other, transfer is possible from both languages on a property-by-property basis.

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