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University of Innsbruck Faculty of Philology and Cultural Studies Unit of Foreign Language Didactics

11th PALA (Processability Approaches to Language Acquisition) International Symposium 12-13 September 2011

Abstracts

The Scientific Committee


Camilla Bettoni (Verona, Italy) Bruno Di Biase (Western Sydney, Australia) Gisela Hkansson (Lund, Sweden) Satomi Kawaguchi (Western Sydney, Australia) Jrg-U. Keler (Ludwigsburg, Germany) Anke Lenzing (Paderborn, Germany) Manfred Pienemann (Paderborn, Germany) Yanyin Zhang (University of Canberra, Australia)

The Local Committee


Barbara Hinger Sabine Hosp Maria Magdalena Mayr Inge Rauter Eva Maria Unterrainer University of Innsbruck Faculty of Philology and Cultural Studies Unit of Foreign Language Didactics Innrain 52 6020 Innsbruck Austria phone: +43/512/507 - 4301 fax: +43/512/507 - 9841 e-mail: abdis@uibk.ac.at http://www.uibk.ac.at/fakultaeten/philologisch_kulturwissenschaftliche/abdis.html

Sponsors
Faculty of Philology and Cultural Studies, University of Innsbruck Unit of Foreign Language Didactics, University of Innsbruck

Contents
The mental grammatical system of early L2 learners of English ________________________________________ 4 Anke LENZING (University of Paderborn, Germany) English syntax in ESL/EFL learning ______________________________________________________________ 5 Yumiko YAMAGUCHI (Tokyo Denki University, Japan) Lexical and syntactic development in English as a second language: A cross-sectional study __________________ 7 Satomi KAWAGUCHI (University of Western Sydney, Australia) PT at the syntactic-pragmatic interface: Choices in Italian L2 and L1 ____________________________________ 8 Bruno DI BIASE (University of Western Sydney, Australia) Elena NUZZO (University of Verona, Italy) Copula processing and grammar development in JSLA ______________________________________________ 10 Judith STONE-PRESTON (Educational Testing Service, Hampstead, USA) Processing hierarchy of L2 Chinese syntax: A proposal ______________________________________________ 11 Yanyin ZHANG (University of Canberra, Australia) A processability hierarchy for Spanish as an L2 ____________________________________________________ 12 Anja PLESSER, (University of Paderborn, Germany) Topic Hypothesis in Processability Theory: The case of Spanish _______________________________________ 14 Bruno DI BIASE (University of Western Sydney, Australia) Barbara HINGER (Leopold-Franzens-Universitt Innsbruck, Austria) Incomplete acquisition of Turkish and German among young Turkish-German bilinguals in Germany _________ 15 Fatih BAYRAM (Newcastle University, UK) Investigating the fundamental difference between L1 and L2 acquisition based on syntax: A fresh look at the development of alignment beyond canonical word order in German L1 and L2 ___________________________ 16 Karoline WIRBATZ, (University of Western Sydney, Australia) L2 German case development: From marking the position to marking the function ________________________ 17 Kristof BATEN (University of Ghent, Belgium) The development of case in a second language: A Processability Theory approach _________________________ 18 Camilla BETTONI (University of Verona, Italy) The development of the Russian case system: A cross-sectional study___________________________________ 20 Daniele ARTONI (University of Verona, Italy) The development of questions in Chinese students of English as a foreign language _______________________ 22 Ran LI (Australian National University, Australia)

The mental grammatical system of early L2 learners of English


Anke LENZING (University of Paderborn, Germany), alenzing@mail.uni-paderborn.de Monday, 12 September 2011, 13:30-13:55 This presentation focuses on the development of the grammatical system in early L2 learners of English in a formal context. The ungrammatical structures produced by these early learners do not only deviate syntactically from the target language pattern; these structures are also semantically ill-formed and diverge as regards the arguments that the learners express. In order to account for these utterances, I propose the following hypotheses: The grammatical system of early second language learners is highly constrained. These constraints apply to the level of constituent structure as well as to the level of argument structure. The constraints at the level of argument structure inhibit the mapping processes from argument structure to functional structure. This results in direct mapping processes from argument to constituent structure. The lexicon is gradually annotated in the process of L2 acquisition. The overall development of the grammatical system of early L2 learners is in line with Processability Theory and can be explained by feature unification and lexical mapping. To test these hypotheses, I conducted a combined cross-sectional and longitudinal study of 24 primary school learners of English as a second language (ESL). The data collection took place at two points in time, i.e. after one and after two years of instruction in English. I carried out a distributional analysis of both constituent and argument structure in the learners speech samples. The results of my analyses support my hypotheses, as they indicate that the grammatical system of early L2 learners is highly constrained and that these constraints apply to the level of both constituent structure as well as argument structure. Secondly the findings support the hypothesis that the L2 lexicon is being successively annotated, particularly as to syntactic categories and the verbs argument structure.

References
Bresnan, J. (2001), Lexical-Functional Syntax, Malden, MA: Blackwell. Falk, Y. (2001), Lexical-Functional Grammar: An introduction to parallel constraint-based syntax, Stanford: CSLI. Lenzing, A. (2011), The development of the grammatical system in second language acquisition, PhD Thesis: University of Paderborn. Pienemann, M. (1998), Language processing and second language development: Processability Theory, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Pienemann, M., Di Biase, B., Kawaguchi, S. (2005), Extending Processability Theory. In: Pienemann, M. (ed.), Cross-linguistic aspects of Processability Theory, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Roos, J. (2007), Spracherwerb und Sprachproduktion: Lernziele und Lernergebnisse im Englischunterricht der Grundschule, Tbingen: Narr.
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English syntax in ESL/EFL learning


Yumiko YAMAGUCHI (Tokyo Denki University, Japan), yyamaguchi@cck.dendai.ac.jp Monday, 12 September 2011, 14:00-14:25 The aim of this study is to examine the use of advanced syntactic structures by learners of English. In Processability Theory (PT) (Pienemann, 1998; Pienemann, Di Biase & Kawaguchi, 2005) as well as many other approaches (e.g., Andersen, 1984; Brown, 1973; Keenan & Comrie, 1977; Krashen, 1982), the language learner is assumed to proceed from the least marked structures toward more marked structures. According to the Topic Hypothesis in PT (Pienemann, Di Biase & Kawaguchi, 2005), object topicalization, in which the object is placed in the initial position of the sentence, can be the most marked declarative structure in English. As for English interrogatives, the advanced learner is assumed to become able to assign an auxiliary or a copula after the subject as well as to place a focal element (i.e., wh-word) in the initial position (Bettoni & Di Biase, in press; Di Biase & Kawaguchi, in press). Yamaguchi (2010) found that a Japanese L1 primary school child learning English in a natural environment reached the highest stage for syntax in processability hierarchy in her two-year longitudinal study (from age 5;8 to 7;8). The present study investigates whether a learner who has become able to produce the most marked structures in English as a second language (ESL) environment continues to use them in English as a foreign language (EFL) environment. The data was collected several years after the participant in Yamaguchi (2010), Kumi, had moved back to Japan. She was asked to perform some tasks including narratives and communication games. Kumis use of advanced syntactic structures in the present study is compared with that observed in Yamaguchi (2011) and with the performance by her peer (14;4) learning English only in EFL environment. Results show that Kumi continues to use the syntactic structures predicted to emerge at the higher stages in PT in EFL environment and uses them more frequently than her peer does.

References
Andersen, R.W. (1984), The one-to-one principle. Language Learning 34, 77-95. Bettoni, C., Di Biase, B. (in press), Processability Theory and its theoretical bases. In: Bettoni, C., Di Biase, B. (eds.), Processability Theory: Current issues in theory and application, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Brown, R. (1973), A first language: The early stages, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Di Biase, B., Kawaguchi, S. (in press), Development across languages: English, Italian and Japanese. In: Bettoni, C., Di Biase, B. (eds.), Processability Theory: Current issues in theory and application, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Keenan, E.L., Comrie, B. (1977), Noun phrase accessibility and universal grammar. Linguistic Inquiry 8, 63-99. Krashen, S. (1982), Principles and practice in second language acquisition, Oxford: Pergamon Press. Pienemann, M. (1998), Language processing and second language development: Processability theory, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
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Pienemann, M., Di Biase, B., Kawaguchi, S. (2005), Extending Processability Theory. In: Pienemann, M. (ed.), Cross-linguistic aspects of Processability Theory, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 199-251. Yamaguchi, Y. (2010), The acquisition of English as a second language by a Japanese primary school child: A longitudinal study from a processability viewpoint, PhD Thesis: University of Western Sydney.

Lexical and syntactic development in English as a second language: A cross-sectional study


Satomi KAWAGUCHI (University of Western Sydney, Australia), s.kawaguchi@uws.edu.au Monday, 12 September 2011, 14:30-15:00 This cross-sectional study aims to investigate the relationship between lexical and syntactic learning in second language (L2) learning within the Processability Theory framework (PT, Pienemann, 1998; Di Biase & Kawaguchi, in press). The verb lexical category is the focus of this study because the verb plays a central role in syntactic construction: the way in which the verb selects and organizes its arguments differs according to the verb category. This cross-sectional study particularly looks at (1) the relationship between learners vocabulary size (Nation & Belgar, 2007) and syntactic development measured by PT stages, and (2) the relationship between learners acquisition of particular types of verb, such as canonical transitive, ditransitive, unaccusative, unergative, or passive verbs, and the learners syntactic range in L2 production/comprehension. Given the LFG assumption that the lexicon drives grammar, the learners lexical size may be a good indicator of second language acquisition. However, given the wide qualitative range of this lexical category, lexical size does not necessarily predict the ability to use the lexicon appropriately in grammatical contexts. In this study 14 Japanese L1-English L2 adult learners performed (1) a vocabulary size test, (2) an oral interview with the informants to profile the learners PT stages, and (3) translation and production tasks involving a selection of seven different types of the verb. Data analysis involves language profiling of the informants, distributional analysis and implicational scaling. Correlation between vocabulary size and syntactic stages is also computed. Preliminary results indicate that learners lexical size does neither correlate with their L2 developmental stages nor with their achievement in translation and production tasks. But the type of verb the learner knows seems to be an important indicator of his/her syntactic development.

References
Di Biase, B., Kawaguchi, S. (in press), Development across languages: English, Italian and Japanese. In: Bettoni, C., Di Biase, B. (eds.), Processability Theory: current issues in theory and application, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Nation, I. S. P., Beglar, D. (2007), A vocabulary size test. The Language Teacher 31, 7, 913. Pienemann, M. (1998), Language processing and second language development: Processability Theory, Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

PT at the syntactic-pragmatic interface: Choices in Italian L2 and L1


Bruno DI BIASE (University of Western Sydney, Australia), B.Dibiase@uws.edu.au Elena NUZZO (University of Verona, Italy), elena.nuzzo@fastwebnet.it Monday, 12 September 2011, 15:30-15:55 The aim of this paper is to examine PTs procedural skills hypothesis in relation to non-obligatory syntactic choices at the point where syntax interacts with discourse-pragmatic information. A key proposal in Pienemann (2002) postulates that the task of acquiring a second language is based on the procedural skills needed for the processing of the language. Results from Pienemanns (2002) empirical study lend support to the procedural skills hypothesis in relation to subject-verb agreement, an obligatory morphosyntactic operation in German. They show that the grammatical skill necessary to process this agreement is much the same for both native and non-native speakers of German, provided the non-natives do have the specific procedure relating to the L2. This is because procedural routines, once automated, are similar in native speakers and non-native speakers. Pienemanns sentence matching experiment involved language reception skills and measured response time. Our investigation, on the other hand, looks at language production skills in a time-constrained task, i.e., a short video-clip originally created by Tomlin (1995) with 13 native and 16 non-native speakers of Italian of different ages and socio-cultural backgrounds. The non-native informants represent a range of stages of development from beginner to advanced. All participants performed the Fish Film task following Tomlins protocol. Informants spoken production was audio-recorded, transcribed and coded. Results show an interesting range of outcomes. Whenever the cued fish is the agent referent, the two groups of informants behave in a very similar and uniform way: in almost all cases the primed agent appears as the subject and the non-primed patient as the object of active transitive sentences. This supports the procedural skills hypothesis, i.e., non-natives behave in the same way as the natives provided they have the skill in question. On the other hand, whenever the cued fish is the patient referent, an interestingly varied picture emerges both in and between the two groups. Why? Passive and other non-obligatory constructions at the interface of syntax with other grammatical modules (such as discourse-pragmatics) have been variously reported (e.g., DeKeyser, 2005; Hopp, 2007) to cause difficulties with learners which may persist in advanced and even near-native speakers who are otherwise successful in acquiring the syntax of the L2. Different explanations for these difficulties are advanced in the literature: either some kind of deficit in grammatical representation (e.g., Sorace, 2003) or processing limitations in integrating information from different grammatical modules (e.g., Hopp, 2007, who looks at topicalization in German L2). The first explanation fails to account for the fact that at least some advanced learners in the present study, as in Pienemanns study, behaved in pretty much the same way as the native informants. The second explanation is more plausible, yet it falls short on accounting for the range of differences in performance recorded across learners in this study. PT, like Hopp (2007), would also opt for a processing-based explanation but, while recognizing working memory limitations, being a dynamic theory (i.e., designed to represent changes over time), it is able, crucially, to add a developmental dimension. In testing the procedural skill hypothesis for production rather than perception,
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and for constructions at the interface of syntax with another (pragmatic) grammatical module rather than purely obligatory structures, we find that PT (Pienemann, Di Biase & Kawaguchi, 2005) can account for some of the results: advanced learners must have intrasentential processing skills to be able to choose constructions, including passive, that integrate syntactic information with other grammatical (pragmatic) modules. This is in line with neurolinguistic experimentation (Hahne, 2001; Oishi, 2006) and approaches (Paradis, 2004). However, not all of those who have the necessary intrasentential skills are able to deploy them online (i.e., in time constrained conditions), as also Kawaguchi (2009) finds for Japanese causatives and Keatinge and Keler (2009) and Wang (2009) find for English passive in L2. This calls for a finergrained account of the processing components underlying the procedural skills hypothesis.

References
DeKeyser, R. (2005), What makes learning L2 grammar difficult? Language Learning 55, S1, 1-25. Hahne, A. (2001), Whats different in second-language processing? Evidence from event-related brain potentials. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 30, 251-266. Hopp, H. (2007), Cross-linguistic differences at the syntax-discourse interface in off- and on-line L2 performance. In: Belikova, A. et al. (eds.), Proceedings of the 2nd Conference on Generative approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA), Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project, 147-158. Kawaguchi, S. (2009), Acquiring causative constructions in Japanese as a second language. The Journal of Japanese Studies 29, 273-291. Keatinge, D., Keler, J.-U. (2009), The acquisition of the passive voice in English as a foreign language: production and perception. In: Keler, J.-U., Keatinge, D. (eds.), Research in second Language Acquisition: Empirical evidence across languages, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 67-92. Oishi, H. (2006), Noo kagaku kara no dai ni gengo shuutokuron (Second language acquisition from brain science), Kyoto: Shoowado. Pienemann, M. (2002), The procedural skill hypothesis for SLA. In: Burmeister, P., Piske, T., Rohde, A. (eds.), An Integrated view of language development, Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 43-56. Pienemann, M.., Di Biase, B., Kawaguchi, S. (2005), Extending processability theory. In: Pienemann, M. (ed.), Cross-linguistic aspects of processability theory, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 199-251. Tomlin, R. (1995), Focal attention, voice, and word order. In: Dowing, P., Noonan, M. (eds), Word order in discourse, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 517-553. Wang, K. (2009), Acquiring the passive voice: Online production of the English passive construction by Mandarin Speakers. In: Keler, J.-U., Keatinge, D. (eds.), Research in second Language Acquisition: Empirical evidence across languages, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 93-117.

Copula processing and grammar development in JSLA


Judith STONE-PRESTON (Educational Testing Service, Hampstead, USA), jlpresto@gmail.com Monday, 12 September 2011, 16:00-16:25 This study defines the morphosyntactic contexts of the Japanese copula that emerge in an implicational pattern during the acquisition of Japanese as a second language (JSLA). An empirical analysis of spontaneous speech data collected from 14 adult L2 speakers is performed to investigate the hypothesis that a procedural grammar hierarchy constrains the order in which the production of the copula and copula-related contexts becomes theoretically processable by L2 learners of Japanese. The Japanese copula exhibits distinct morphosyntactic features in obligatory and non-obligatory linguistic contexts. This study introduces the functional and categorial features associated with it based on linguistic analyses (Konomi, 1994; Murasugi, 1991; Nakau, 1993; Narahara, 2002; Sells, 1997). The linguistic contexts of copula emergence are defined using LFG. The contexts are then used to 1) model a procedural grammar hierarchy for Japanese based on PT (Pienemann, 1998) and 2) define the criteria used in a distributional analysis-based method of investigation of L2 speech samples. Four learners participated in a longitudinal study targeting emergence of six linguistic contexts. In each context, the copula appears as an affix on the noun/nominally headed clause it is preceded by, such as in examples (1) - (6): (1) -DA in non-obligatory contexts (Otousan-wasensei-DA) (2) -DA in obligatory context of non-dependent adjuncts (Otousan-wa sensei-DA-kedo, eigo-ga shaberenai-n-da-yo) (3) -DA in obligatory context on main clause -to complements (Otousan-ga sensei-DA-to omou-yo) (4) -NO obligatory on relative clause adjuncts of NP dependents ((Yuushou-shita no-wa,) otousan-ga sensei-NO-kodomo) (5) -NA obligatory on nominalized dependents (Sonotoki-ni hajimete otousansan-ga sensei-NA-no-wo shitta) (6) -DA -KA obligatory on interrogative complements: (Nyuugaku shiken-wa itu (-DA/ KA wakaranai) Results of distributional analyses of suppliance, oversuppliance and undersuppliance in longitudinal samples are tested against the predicted processability hierarchy. The emergence order is further tested in a cross-sectional study of 10 learners.

References
Konomi, E. (1994), The structure of the nominal predicate in Japanese, PhD Thesis: Cornell University. Murasugi, K. (1991), Noun phrases in Japanese and English: A study in syntax, learnability and acquisition, PhD Thesis: University of Connecticut. Nakau, M. (1973), Sentential complementation in Japanese, Tokyo: Kaitakusha. Narahara, T. (2002), The Japanese copula: Forms and functions, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Sells, P. (1997), The expression of the Japanese copula: The survival of the weakest, Ms (14pp): Stanford University.
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Processing Hierarchy of L2 Chinese Syntax A Proposal


Yanyin ZHANG (University of Canberra, Australia), Yanyin.Zhang@canberra.edu.au Monday, 12 September 2011, 16:30-17:00 In this talk, I will outline a processing hierarchy for (Mandarin) Chinese syntax based on Processability Theory (PT) (Pienemann, 1998) and its extended version (Pienemann, Di Biase & Kawaguchi, 2005; Bettoni & Di Biase, in press). I will base the hierarchy on the concept of linearity, specifying the alignment between a-, f- and c-structures in sentence constructions, as well as on pragmatic options involved in structural choices expressed by the Topic Hypothesis. In her exploratory study testing the Topic Hypothesis, Zhang (2007) proposed a preliminary four-stage hierarchy for L2 Chinese syntax that begins with single constituents and progressively develops to noncanonical order structures (S-procedure): Single constituents > SV(O) > XP SV(O) > OSV/SOV Her analysis of the longitudinal L2 Chinese data of three adult English-speaking learners supports the proposed developmental sequence. Although the general direction of the sequence seems to be correct, it covers a limited range of sentence structures and the notion of alignment is not utilized. Nevertheless, it remains the only study to this day investigating the development of L2 Chinese syntax from a PT perspective. With the latest development that makes the theoretical underpinnings of PT hierarchy more precise (Bettoni & Di Biase, in preparation), I will aim to present a fuller developmental hierarchy for L2 Chinese syntax, focusing in particular on the stages (or structures) beyond the unmarked alignment. This will be mainly a predicative proposal intending for discussion and feedback.

References
Bettoni, C., Di Biase, B. (in press), Processability Theory and its theoretical bases. In: Bettoni, C., Di Biase, B. (eds.), Processability Theory: Current issues in theory and application, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Pienemann, M. (1998), Language processing and second language development: Processability Theory, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Pienemann, M., Di Biase, B., Kawaguchi, S. (2005), Extending Processability Theory. In: Pienemann, M. (ed.), Cross-linguistic aspects of Processability Theory, New York: John Benjamins, 199-252. Zhang, Y. (2007), Testing the Topic Hypothesis: The L2 acquisition of Chinese syntax. In: Mansouri, F. (ed.), Second language acquisition research: Theory-construction and testing, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 145-172.

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A processability hierarchy for Spanish as an L2


Anja PLESSER, (University of Paderborn, Germany), aplesser@mail.uni-paderborn.de Tuesday, 13 September 2011, 09:45-10:10 It is not only general cognitive mechanisms and language universal procedures which have to be investigated in SLA research, but also the acquisition of target-language specific aspects. In my presentation I will demonstrate that the acquisition of Spanish as an L2 (Di Biase, 2005) follows a universal developmental trajectory and that this trajectory is compatible with the constraints defined by Processability Theory (Pienemann, 1998; Pienemann et al., 2005). PT delineates a universal set of developmental constraints based on L2 processability on whose basis the learner acquires the targetlanguage specific features of the language s/he is learning (see, e.g., Pienemann, 1998, 2005; Keler, 2006; Lenzing, 2011 for English, Pienemann, 1998 for German, Hkansson & Norrby, 2007 for Swedish, Di Biase & Kawaguchi, 2002; Bettoni, Favilla & Ferroni, 2008 for Italian and Kawaguchi, 2005 for Japanese). The identification of a processability hierarchy for Spanish as an L2 is based on a cross-sectional study I conducted at Texas Tech University, USA, in 2010. I collected spontaneous speech production data in that I interviewed 20 learners of Spanish as an L2. In order to elicit the respective target-language specific grammatical features of Spanish I used eight different communicative tasks. On the basis of the data, I carried out an implicational analysis which shows a strong implicational relationship for the key developmental features under investigation, thus lending strong support to the hypothesized developmental trajectory for Spanish.

References
Bresnan, J. (2001), Lexical-Functional Syntax, Malden: Blackwell. Di Biase, B., Kawaguchi, S. (2002), Exploring the typological plausibility of Processability Theory: language development in Italian second language and Japanese second language. Second Language Research 18, 272300. Hkansson, G., Norrby, C. (2007), Processability Theory applied to written and oral Swedish. In: Mansouri, F. (ed.), Second language acquisition research: Theory-construction and testing, 81-94. Kawaguchi, S. (2005), Argument structure and syntactic development in Japanese as a second language. In: Pienemann, M. (ed.) (2005), Cross-linguistic aspects of Processability Theory, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 253-298. Keler, J.-U. (2006), Englischerwerb im Anfangsunterricht diagnostizieren. Linguistische Profilanalysen und der bergang von der Primar- in die Sekundarstufe I, Tbingen: Narr. Lenzing, A. (2011), The grammatical system of early L2 learners of English, PhD Thesis: University of Paderborn. Mansouri, F. (2005), Agreement morphology in Arabic as a second language: Typological features and their processing implications. In: Pienemann, M. (ed.) (2005), Cross-linguistic Aspects of Processability Theory, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 117-153. Nuzzo, E., Bettoni, C. (2008), Developmental readiness and form-focused instruction: their effects on
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the acquisition of object topicalization and exceptional verbs in Italian L2. Paper presented at the 8th International Symposium on Processability Approaches to Language Acquisition (PALA), Verona, 1516 September 2008. Pienemann, M. (1998), Language processing and second language development: Processability Theory, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Pienemann, M. (ed.) (2005), Cross-linguistic aspects of Processability Theory, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Pienemann, M., Di Biase, B., Kawaguchi, S. (2005), Extending Processability Theory. In: Pienemann, M. (ed.) (2005), Cross-linguistic aspects of Processability Theory, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 199251.

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Topic Hypothesis in Processability Theory: The case of Spanish


Bruno DI BIASE (University of Western Sydney, Australia), B.Dibiase@uws.edu.au Barbara HINGER (Leopold-Franzens-Universitt Innsbruck, Austria), barbara.hinger@uibk.ac.at Tuesday, 13 September 2011, 10:10-10:35 This paper aims to trace morphological and syntactic development in learners of Spanish as an L2 according to PT (Pienemann, 1998; Pienemann, Di Biase & Kawaguchi, 2005; Di Biase & Kawaguchi, in press). In particular it will follow the development of marked alignment in declaratives testing for the Topic Hypothesis. Thus, the constituent structure position of adjuncts and noncore arguments will be contrasted with the alignment of core arguments and their cliticization to the verb. The morphological development of the learners will be presented as reference point to compare the development of morphological processing procedures, based on unification, with the development of syntactic alignment. Two cross-sectional data sets, each consisting of six post-puberty learners, will be presented, one having been collected in Austria, from late secondary students, the other in Australia, from university students. Accordingly, they reflect two different L1 learner backgrounds as the Austrian data relate to German L1 learners while the Australian data is from English L1 learners. The two sets originate from different learning contexts. These contextual differences in the data offer an empirical basis for generalization.

References
Di Biase, B., Kawaguchi, S. (in press), Development across languages: English, Italian and Japanese. In: Bettoni, C., Di Biase, B. (eds.), Processability Theory: Current issues in theory and application, PALART Series, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Pienemann, M. (1998), Language processing and second language development: Processability Theory, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Pienemann, M., Di Biase, B., Kawaguchi, S. (2005), Extending Processability Theory. In: Pienemann, M. (ed.), Cross-linguistic aspects of Processability Theory, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 199-251.

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Incomplete Acquisition of Turkish and German among young Turkish-German bilinguals in Germany
Fatih BAYRAM (Newcastle University, UK), fatih.bayram@newcastle.ac.uk Tuesday, 13 September 2011, 11:00-11:25 Studies in bilingualism in the last decades have provided increasing evidence that bilinguals who have been brought up using two languages do not always converge on the grammars of native speakers. As German L1 and L2 acquisition has been widely scrutinised, the first aim of this research is to identify the grammatical regularities of Turkish as spoken by the 3rd generation of Turkish population in Germany within the Lexical-Functional Grammar framework. This is particularly important in that little is known about the linguistic properties of this newly emerging Turkish in Germany. The second aim is to formalise the developmental stages of this new Turkish according to Processability Theory. The approach of this research is new in that the young Turkish-German bilinguals are compared with each other according to these new parameters. This study is expected to provide new insights in the ultimate attainment in bilingualism besides a new perspective on the analysis of linguistic properties of Turkish as spoken in Europe.

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Investigating the fundamental difference between L1/L2 acquisition based on syntax: A fresh look at the development of alignment beyond canonical word order in German L1/L2
Karoline WIRBATZ, (University of Western Sydney, Australia), k.wirbatz@uws.edu.au Tuesday, 13 September 2011, 11:30-11:55 This presentation aims to contribute to the ongoing debate about the fundamental differences in L1 and L2 acquisition by revisiting the developmental path of German L1 children over the crucial 2;1 years to 2;4 years bracket and German adult L2 learners in regard to development of declarative as well as interrogative structures. It aims to investigate the syntactic constructions of German word order of those two learner groups by looking into the development of the alignment beyond canonical word order within the theoretical framework of Processability Theory (PT) (Pienemann, 1998a&b; Pienemann, Di Biase & Kawaguchi, 2005, Di Biase & Bettoni, in press). Data from a new longitudinal study with two German children is analysed along with parts of data sets of five German L1 children taken from the CHILDES and three Italian L1 adult learners of German L2 from a longitudinal study from the ZISA research project in the early 1980s. Previous research assumed differences in L1 and L2 acquisition, i.e. Clahsen & Muysken (1986) claimed that German L1 children, unlike L2 learners, do not go through the ungrammatical stage XP+SV in their early multi-word utterances, but rather place the verb in sentence-second position from the very beginning every time another constituent than the subject is topicalized. In addition, PT (Pienemann, 1998a&b) also suggests that L1 learners skip the ungrammatical structure XP+SV in their syntactic development because L1 acquirers may entertain an initial hypothesis of syntax different from L2 learners. In order to investigate this issue, my study addresses the following key question: Is there a fundamental difference between German L1 and L2 acquisition based on syntax? The study provides new insights into L1 and L2 learning, as it shows that the developmental paths of those two learner types are more similar than previously assumed. Furthermore, the findings of the study suggest that there is a firm basis to the claim that there is no fundamental difference between German L1 and L2 acquisition in regard to syntax.

References
Clahsen, H., Muysken, P. (1986), The availability of Universal Grammar to adult and child learners a study of the acquisition of German word order. Second Language Research 2, 93-119. Di Biase, B., Bettoni, C. (eds.) (in press), Processability Theory: Current issues in theory and application, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Pienemann, M. (1998a), Language processing and second language development: Processability Theory, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Pienemann, M. (1998b), Developmental dynamics in L1 and L2 acquisition: Processability Theory and generative entrenchment. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 1, 1-20. Pienemann, M., Di Biase, B., Kawaguchi, S. (2005), Extending Processability Theory. In: Pienemann, M. (ed.), Cross-linguistic aspects of Processability Theory, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 199-252.
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L2 German case development: From marking the position to marking the function
Kristof BATEN (University of Ghent, Belgium), Kristof.Baten@UGent.be Tuesday, 13 September 2011, 12:00-12:30 In this paper I will present the results of a study on the acquisition of the German case system. Within the PT field, research into the acquisition of case systems constitutes a new research direction. Consider, for example, the recent exploratory study on the acquisition of the Serbian case system (Di Biase, Bettoni & Medojevi, in press). In that same tradition, the present paper will discuss a number of developmental hypotheses on German case acquisition based on PT, and present correspondent empirical findings derived from spontaneous oral language production data of 11 Dutch-speaking L2 learners of German. The development of case is intertwined with the learners development of word order structures. According to PT, learners will proceed from unmarked canonical structures to marked non-canonical structures. With regard to case, learners will in turn proceed from marking the position to marking the function. When the learners rely on the canonical position of the arguments to express their grammatical functions, the markers they use are not case markers, since they are used without functional assignment. It is only when the learner is able to use case markers irrespective of the position of the argument in the sentence (i.e., in non-canonical structures) that case exists as such. The results of the study to be presented show that learners indeed follow the course of development as it is spelt out by PT, yet non-canonical word order and functional case marking do not emerge simultaneously. At the point in time when learners start using non-canonical word order structures, functional assignment is first achieved through semantic information (e.g., animacy and true-world knowledge), and only secondarily through case information. A suggestion for future research is therefore to examine why the morphological and the syntactic features that are related (i.e., functional case and non-canonical word order) are not acquired together.

References
Di Biase, B., Bettoni, C., Medojevi, L. (in press), The development of case: A study of Serbian in contact with Australian English. In: Bettoni, C., Di Biase, B. (eds), Processability Theory: Current Issues in Theory and Application, Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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The development of case in a second language: A Processability Theory approach


Camilla BETTONI (University of Verona, Italy), macbett@intelligenza.it Tuesday, 13 September 2011, 13:30-14:00 Within the PT framework, this paper will look at the development of case by combining the original, syntactically motivated morphological component (Pienemann, 1998) with the more recent discoursepragmatically motivated syntactic one (Pienemann, Di Biase & Kawaguchi, 2005). It is in fact surprising that, despite PTs fairly extensive empirical application to a variety of languages and acquisitional circumstances and populations (cf., e.g., Pienemann, 2005; Keler, 2008; Keatinge & Keler, 2009; Bettoni & Di Biase, in press), little systematic attention has been given to the development of case systems (but cf. Baten, 2008, 2010; Di Biase, Bettoni & Medojevi, in press). A case system is a prominent characteristic of dependent-marking languages, and is traditionally defined, in a general way, as a system marking dependent nominals to the type of relation they bear to their heads in a phrase (Blake, 1994). Nouns can therefore depend on heads belonging to various lexical categories: verb, noun, adjective and preposition. Each of these lexical categories requires specific cases for the nouns within their VP, NP, AP, and PP respectively. The specific case each of them requires is determined lexically, which means that the assignment of case is an idiosyncratic property of the lexical category itself. Among lexical categories, the verb is crucial for the construction of the sentence because the cases it requires for its thematic roles identify their grammatical functions. So, besides canonical order, other permutations of the three core elements (S, V and O) in a sentence can be grammatically acceptable. Speakers thus exploit them to organise sentences according to the pragmatic requirements of the topicfocus structure. Likewise, in L2 development, once learners can assign functions by case (i.e., by means other than a fixed position in the canonical word order frame), case allows for flexibility in the word order of the sentence. The paper will offer (and discuss) PT-based hypotheses for the development of case, in relation to both morphology and discourse-pragmatically motivated syntax.

References
Baten, K. (2008), Processability Theory and German case acquisition. Paper presented at the 8th International Symposium on Processability Approaches to Language Acquisition (PALA), Verona (Italy), 15-16 September 2008. Baten, K. (2010), Processability Theory: the acquisition of the German case system. Paper presented at EUROSLA 20, International Conference of the European Second Language Association, Reggio Emilia (Italy), 1-4 September 2010. Blake, B.J. (1994), Case, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Bettoni, C., Di Biase, B. (eds.) (in press), Processability Theory: Current issues in theory and application, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Di Biase, B., Bettoni, C., Medojevi, L. (in press), The development of case: A study of Serbian in contact with Australian English. In: Bettoni, C., Di Biase, B. (eds), Processability Theory: Current
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issues in theory and application, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Keatinge, D., Keler, J.-U. (eds.) (2009), Research in second language acquisition: Empirical evidence across languages, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Keler, J.-U. (ed.) (2008), Processability approaches to second language development and second language learning, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Pienemann, M. (1998), Language processing and second language development: Processability Theory, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Pienemann, M. (ed.) (2005), Cross-linguistic aspects of Processability Theory, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Pienemann, M., Di Biase, B., Kawaguchi, S. (2005), Extending Processability Theory. In: Pienemann, M. (ed.), Cross-linguistic aspects of Processability Theory, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 199-251.

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The development of the Russian case system: A cross-sectional study


Daniele ARTONI (University of Verona, Italy) Tuesday, 13 September 2011, 13:30-14:00 The aim of this study is to investigate the development of the case system in Russian. Russian is an example of a nonconfigurational, dependent-marking language. This means that, on the one hand, when linking the lexicon to c-structure, along the configurational continuum, Russian f-structure information is expressed by morphology (rather than by position, as in English). On the other hand, along the dependency continuum, Russian grammatical functions are marked inflectionally on the depending element (rather than on the head, as in Italian). Marking a dependent element inflectionally means using case. For learners of Russian, case is then a complex feature to acquire for a variety of reasons: morphologically, there are six cases, fusionally enmeshed with other nominal features such as number, gender and class. Morphosyntactically, case must be computed on most nominal elements within the whole noun phrase. Syntactically, cases identify grammatical functions in the sentence. Most of the time relations between case and function are default and predictable. However, less predictably, the same case can construct alternative functions, and the same function can be constructed by different cases, albeit lexically with different predicates. On the basis of these complexities, the paper will suggest some hypotheses for the development of the case system along the general lines drawn in the previous paper by Bettoni, and test them out on cross-sectional production data of 12 Italian students learning Russian at the University of Verona. Results will show that there is a direct relationship between the exercise of discourse-pragmatically driven syntactic choices and the range of case-marking available to the speaker. Learners at an early stage of development rely on more basic grammatical case markers, and more fixed structures for their sentences. More advanced learners display both a fuller range of case markers, and the skills for using them to exercise alternative pragmatically driven syntactic choices. In particular, the paper will show the relationship between morphological case markers and functional roles in declarative sentences, and how learners progress from a first match between form and position for core arguments to full functional assignment by case independent of position of both arguments and adjuncts.

References
Baten, K. (2008), Processability Theory and German case acquisition. Paper presented at the 8th International Symposium on Processability Approaches to Language Acquisition (PALA), Verona (Italy), 15-16 September 2008. Baten, K. (2010), Processability Theory: the acquisition of the German case system. Paper presented at EUROSLA 20, International Conference of the European Second Language Association, Reggio Emilia (Italy), 1-4 September 2010. Blake, B.J. (1994), Case, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Bettoni, C., Di Biase, B. (eds.) (in press), Processability Theory: Current issues in theory and application, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Di Biase, B., Bettoni, C., Medojevi, L. (in press), The development of case: A study of Serbian in
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contact with Australian English. In: Bettoni, C., Di Biase, B. (eds), Processability Theory: Current issues in theory and application, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Keatinge, D., Keler, J.-U. (eds.) (2009), Research in second language acquisition: Empirical evidence across languages, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Keler, J.-U. (ed.) (2008), Processability approaches to second language development and second language learning, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Pienemann, M. (1998), Language processing and second language development: Processability Theory, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Pienemann, M. (ed.) (2005), Cross-linguistic aspects of Processability Theory, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Pienemann, M., Di Biase, B., Kawaguchi, S. (2005), Extending Processability Theory. In: Pienemann, M. (ed.), Cross-linguistic aspects of Processability Theory, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 199-251.

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The development of questions in Chinese students of English as a foreign language


Ran LI (Australian National University, Australia), u4505222@anu.edu.au Tuesday, 13 September 2011, 10:35-11:00 This presentation is concerned with tracing the developmental path of the acquisition of English questions (constituent questions and Yes/No questions) in a cross-sectional study of Chinese secondary students. The main purpose of the study is to provide new data for re-examining the developmental hierarchies of English syntax, as recently proposed within the Processability Theory (PT) framework, specifically based on the Topic Hypothesis in the extended version of PT. The informants were six students, two from each year from Year 7, 8 and 9, in a junior high school in Hohhot, China. Their oral production data of English questions was collected from an informal interview and two communicative tasks, i.e. spot-the-difference and story-guessing-and-picture-sequencing. These question data were documented quantitatively and qualitatively. The emergence criterion was then applied to interpret the data in order to ascertain whether the questions of each type are produced. The developmental paths for the acquisition of English questions in this junior high school study are found to confirm broadly the developmental stages formulated for questions based on the Topic Hypothesis within the framework of PT. Nevertheless, these hierarchies are not sufficient to account for the developmental path found in the present study.

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