Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Open Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Ehrhart, Sabine

1 Issue per year


Covered by:
Clarivate Analytics - Emerging Sources Citation Index
ERIH PLUS

Open Access
Online
ISSN
2300-9969
See all formats and pricing
More options …

L1 Conceptual Transfer in the Acquisition of L2 Motion Events in Spanish and English: The Thinking-for-Speaking Hypothesis

Rosalie Sharpen
Published Online: 2016-09-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2016-0011

Abstract

This research paper takes and builds upon Slobin’s (1987) thinking-for-speaking hypothesis as a basis for exploring the notion of conceptual transfer from the L1 in the acquisition and production of motion events in an L2. This is achieved by investigating the extent to which L2 transfer presents itself in the expression of motion in inverse translation tasks carried out by 27 native English speaking learners of Spanish and 32 native Spanish speaking learners of English. The nature of this transfer is then investigated to establish whether or not it appears to be conceptual. The tasks presented to participants contained items based on Talmy’s (1985) research on cross-linguistic lexicalisation patterns in the expression of motion events, which, as Slobin (1987, 1996) later proposes, appear to dictate the conceptualisation of motion events in a language. Results reveal that cognitive parameters in the participants’ native language affected their performance in the production of motion events in their second language, in accord with Slobin’s (1987) thinking-for-speaking hypothesis. Finally, the study concludes with a summary of these results.

Keywords: thinking-for-speaking; verb conflation patterns; language typology; second language acquisition; semantics

References

  • Aske, Jon. 1989. Path Predicates in English and Spanish: A Closer Look. In Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, pp. 1-14. Berkeley, USA. Google Scholar

  • Bley-Vroman, Robert. 1990. The Logical Problem of Foreign Language Learning. In Linguistic Analysis, Vol. 20, No. 1-2. Google Scholar

  • Bylund, Emanuel; & Jarvis, Scott. 2011. L2 effects on L1 event conceptualisation. In Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Vol. 14, pp 47 – 59. Cambridge University Press: UK. Google Scholar

  • Cadierno, Teresa; & Ruiz, Lucas. 2006. Motion events in Spanish L2 acquisition. In Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics 4. John Benjamins Publishing Company, Amsterdam. Google Scholar

  • Cadierno, Teresa. 2008. Learning to talk about motion. In Robinson, P & Ellis, N (eds.) Handbook of Cognitive Semantics and Second Language Acquisition. Routledge, USA. Google Scholar

  • Dulay, Heidi; Burt, Marina; & Krashen, Stephen. 1982. Language Two. Oxford University Press, UK. Google Scholar

  • Gumperz, John J. & Levinson, Stephen. 1996. Rethinking Linguistic Relativity. Cambridge University Press, UK. Google Scholar

  • Herschensohn, Julia; & Young-Scholten, Martha. 2013. The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge University Press, UK. Google Scholar

  • Labov, William. 1972. Sociolinguistic Patterns. University of Pennsylvania Press, USA. Google Scholar

  • Montrul, Silvina. 2004. The Acquisition of Spanish: Morphosyntactic development in monolingual and bilingual L1 acquisition and adult L2 acquisition. John Benjamins Publication, Philadelphia, USA. Google Scholar

  • Odlin, Terence. 1989. Language Transfer: Cross-linguistic influence in language learning. Cambridge University Press, UK. Google Scholar

  • Selinker, Larry. 1972. Interlanguage. In International Review of Applied Linguistics, 10, pp. 209-231. Google Scholar

  • Slobin, Dan. 1987. Thinking for Speaking. In Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual Meeting of the Berkley Linguistics Society, pp. 435-445. University of California. Google Scholar

  • Slobin, Dan. 1996a. Two Ways to Travel: Verbs of Motion in English and Spanish. In Grammatical Constructions: Their Form and Meaning, edited by Shibatani, M & Thompson, S. Clarendon Press, Oxford UK. Google Scholar

  • Slobin, Dan. 1996b. From “Thought and Language” to “Thinking for Speaking”. In Gumperz, John & Levinson, Stephen (eds.): Rethinking Linguistic Relativity, pp 70-96. Cambridge University Press, UK. Google Scholar

  • Slobin, Dan. 1997. Mind, Code, and Text. In Bybee, Haiman, & Thompson (eds.): Essays on Language Function and Language Type. John Benjamins Publishing Company, USA. Google Scholar

  • Slobin, Dan; & Hoiting, Nini. 1994. Reference to movement in spoken and signed languages: Typological considerations. In Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, 487-505. Berkeley Linguistics Society, Berkeley. Google Scholar

  • Stam, Gale. 2014. Further changes in L2 Thinking for Speaking? In Body-Language-Communication: An International Handbook on Multimodality in Human Interaction, Volume 2, pp.1875-1886. De Gruyten Mouton. Google Scholar

  • Talmy, Leonard. 1985. Lexicalization patterns: semantic structure in lexical form. In Language Typology and Syntactic Description, Vol. 3, Grammatical categories and the lexicon, ed. by Timothy Shopen. Cambridge University Press, UK. Google Scholar

  • Talmy, Leonard. 1991. Path to Realization: A Typology of Event Conflation. In Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society: General Session and Parasession on The Grammar of Event Structure, pp. 480-519. Berkeley, USA. Google Scholar

  • Tarone, Elaine. 2006. “Interlanguage”. In Brown, Keith. Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Boston: Elsevier. pp. 747–751. Google Scholar

  • Vygotsky, Lev Semenovich. 1986. Thought and Language. Originally released in 1934 as Thinking and Speech. Revised and edited by Kozulin, A. MIT Press. Massachusetts, USA. Google Scholar

  • Wagner, Laura. 2010. Acquisition of Semantics. In Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science 1 (4), 519 - 526. Google Scholar

  • White, Lydia. 1990. Another Look at the Logical Problem of Foreign Language Learning: A Reply to Bley-Vroman. In Linguistic Analysis, Vol. 20, No. 1-2, pp 50-63. Google Scholar

  • White, Lydia. 2003. Second Language Acquisition and Universal Grammar. Cambridge University Press, UK. Google Scholar

  • Ziyan, Xu. 2013. Thinking-for-Speaking of Chinese EFL Learners in the Use of Additional Expressions of Manner in the Expression of Motion Events. In English Language Teaching, Vol. 6. Canadian Center of Science and Education, Canada. Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2016-01-24

Accepted: 2016-06-07

Published Online: 2016-09-05


Citation Information: Open Linguistics, Volume 2, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 2300-9969, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2016-0011.

Export Citation

© 2016 Rosalie Sharpen. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in