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Qualitative differences in L3 learners' neurophysiological response to L1 versus L2 transfer
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In the present study, the influence of morphosyntactic aspects of L1 and L2 on L3 comprehension is investigated using ERP (Event-Related Brain Potentials). The study examines the processing of verb and gender agreement incongruences in Spanish by native Swedish speakers that are fluent in English and learning Spanish, in comparison to a control group of native Spanish speakers. The study investigates the relevance of morphosyntactic transfer from L1 and/or L2 to L3, as well as language processing in third language acquisition. Language acquisition is considered as an individual process, different in acquisition of the first, second and third language. EEG (Electrocephalograpy) had been used in the present study to examine the processing of verb and gender agreement. Different views on L3 learning have been shown in previous studies according to whether L1 or L2 have a stronger influence on the acquisition of L3.

Regarding native like processing of language, the study showed that L3 learners process language differently in comparison with native like speakers. In particular, adjective agreement engender a specific brain reaction (a P300) in L3 learners only and not in L1 speakers. Verb agreement, on the other hand, do not engender the P300 in any of the of the groups. The P300 effect is related to strategic processing of language, which leads to the possibility of considering that the morphosyntactic transfer of their first language (Swedish) to the third language is processed in a less automatic mode than L2 (English). 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 49 p.
Keyword [en]
EEG, Language acquisition, Morphosyntax, TLA, grammar, P300
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-134737OAI: diva2:1037699
2016-10-04, 16:07 (English)
Available from: 2016-10-17 Created: 2016-10-17 Last updated: 2016-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Keidel Fernández, Alejandra
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