Interrogative Clauses and Verb Morphology in L2 Swedish Theoretical Interpretations of Grammatical Development and Effects of Different Elicitation Techniques

University dissertation from Stockholm : Centrum för tvåspråkighetsforskning

Abstract: This dissertation examines direct and subordinate questions, as well as verb morphology in L2 Swedish, from a developmental perspective. The study is cross-sectional, containing data from Iraqi Arabic, Persian and Somali adolescent learners representing three different levels of proficiency. The data are analysed on the basis of two theories: The Markedness Differential Hypothesis and Processability Theory. Data elicited through four different techniques are examined with the aim of examining the possible impact of different data types on the results. The different elicitation techniques used in the study are: oral production, written production, grammaticality judgement and a receptive skills task. Two of the elicitation techniques, written production and grammaticality judgement, include all three structures in focus in the study, whilst the oral production and the receptive task is centred on direct questions.The results suggest that there are implicational relationships regarding the order in which the grammatical structures are acquired. On the whole, predictions based on the two theories used as a basis for the analyses find support in the material. Having a wide scope for predictions at the morpho-syntactical level, the results meet the claims in particular of Processability Theory. The predictions and the results do not contrast the two theories with each other. A comparison of the different data types clearly indicates that the grammaticality judgement task substantially diverges from the other data types providing less consistent data and exhibiting trends that are in conflict with the data obtained through the three other elicitation techniques.