Catalan Review

SPOKEN AND WRITTEN REPRESENTATION OF NUMBER IN L2 CATALAN INDEFINITE DETERMINER PHRASES

Catalan Review (2007), 21, (1), 321–351.

Abstract

The study explores the relationship that second language (L2) learners of Catalan establish between the spoken and the written representation of number inflection within an indefinite-article Determiner Phrase (DP); and it also addresses first language (L1) influence in this processo Five- to eight-year-olds, speakers of varieties of Chinese and Moroccan Arabic, with differing degrees of literacy instruction in their home countries —but similar time of residence in Catalonia— participated in the study. The children carried out individual semi-structured tasks designed to evaluate comprehension and production of changes in number inflections (un cotxe ‘a car’; uns cotxes ‘a-pl cars ’). Results showed that, irrespective of children’s language background, comprehension preceded production of singular and plural indefinite-article DPs; spoken representation was easier than written representation of number changes; and production of plural indefinite-article DPs was more difficult than its singular counterpart. Despite typological differences between the languages compared, both groups of L2 learners, even the Catalan control group, underwent similar processes.

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Author details

Tolchinski, Liliana

Salas, Naymé

Perera, Joan