Lotte Hogeweg, Helen de Hoop, Stefanie Ramachers, Frans van der Slik, Verena Wottrich
September 27, 2016
Discourse particles are notoriously difficult to acquire for second language learners. It has been argued that this difficulty is caused by a lack of equivalent concepts in the learner’s native language. In this article we compare the acquisition of the German particle doch by speakers of Dutch and speakers with a native language other than Dutch. Like German, Dutch has a rich inventory of discourse particles and one of them can be considered the cognate of doch: toch . We performed our investigation by means of an online cloze test among 85 Dutch students of German and 76 learners of German with a first language other than Dutch. We tested five different functions of doch , some of which overlapped with the functions of Dutch toch and some which did not. Our results indicate that it is beneficial to have similar particles in one’s mother tongue but we did not find evidence that it is extra beneficial to have form-meaning equivalents between the L1 and L2.