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International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching

Ed. by Jordens, Peter / Roberts, Leah

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.667
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.296

CiteScore 2018: 1.02

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.891
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Volume 46, Issue 4


L2 grammatical gender in a complex morphological system: The case of German

Patti Spinner / Alan Juffs
Published Online: 2008-11-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/IRAL.2008.014


In order to determine the nature of naturalistic learners' difficulty with grammatical gender in a complex morphological system, the longitudinal production data of an early naturalistic L1-Italian and L1-Turkish learner who are acquiring German are examined in light of current theories of gender within Chomsky's (1995) Minimalist Program. After analyzing the speakers' marking on determiners, adjectives and pronouns, we conclude that these learners' errors in the gender of German nouns are the result of at least four factors: inadequate lexical learning, mapping difficulty, processing pressure, and parsing errors that cause the paradigm to be inadequately learned. These factors may be particularly problematic for learners acquiring a system such as the one in German, where gender marking is conflated with case and number on determiners, adjectives and pronouns.

About the article

Published Online: 2008-11-20

Published in Print: 2008-11-01

Citation Information: IRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, Volume 46, Issue 4, Pages 315–348, ISSN (Online) 1613-4141, ISSN (Print) 0019-042X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/IRAL.2008.014.

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