Presentation Title

>felrepül-felrepül< : The Early Stages of Acquiring Spatial Particles in Adult Hungarian L2

Abstract

This talk explores the interlanguage development of adult L2/L3 learners of Hungarian in the domain of spatial boundedness. Taking a form-oriented approach, it reports on the early stages of acquisition by examining the distribution of spatial particles, e.g., ki (‘out’), be (‘in’), in bounded vs. unbounded motion expressions.

Thirty-five learners of Hungarian, studying in the host or foreign language environment (Pica, 1985), completed a personalized narrative retell task (Bardovi-Harlig, 2000). Original materials were designed to provide multiple opportunities for production in a balance (Burghardt, 2019, 2015). Particle-verb (P^V) and verb-particle (V^P) predicates were predicted to occur in bounded and unbounded contexts, respectively. The retell task yielded a corpus of 505 motion clauses, which were submitted to analysis. Against predictions, the task elicited eight structurally different motion predicate types containing verbs, directional particles and their various combinations. These forms occurred in simplex and reduplicated predicates, and L2 learners employed these forms systematically to contrast bounded vs. unbounded motion events.

The use of reduplication in Hungarian L2 is a previously unreported finding in boundedness-related L2 acquisition research, and it is taken to be part of the pragmatic stage of L2 development, when grammatical means to render the bounded-unbounded semantic distinction are lacking. Taking a cross-linguistic perspective, though, reduplication is one attested means of encoding boundedness-related contrast in oral communication. Thus, these findings confirm that L2 grammar is not random but one possible human grammar in the languages of the world. Implications for Hungarian L2 teaching and research will be discussed.

Author Biography

Dr. Burghardt, Beatrix (Indiana University, Department of Second Language Studies):

Start Date

19-11-2021 10:10 AM

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Nov 19th, 10:10 AM

>felrepül-felrepül< : The Early Stages of Acquiring Spatial Particles in Adult Hungarian L2

This talk explores the interlanguage development of adult L2/L3 learners of Hungarian in the domain of spatial boundedness. Taking a form-oriented approach, it reports on the early stages of acquisition by examining the distribution of spatial particles, e.g., ki (‘out’), be (‘in’), in bounded vs. unbounded motion expressions.

Thirty-five learners of Hungarian, studying in the host or foreign language environment (Pica, 1985), completed a personalized narrative retell task (Bardovi-Harlig, 2000). Original materials were designed to provide multiple opportunities for production in a balance (Burghardt, 2019, 2015). Particle-verb (P^V) and verb-particle (V^P) predicates were predicted to occur in bounded and unbounded contexts, respectively. The retell task yielded a corpus of 505 motion clauses, which were submitted to analysis. Against predictions, the task elicited eight structurally different motion predicate types containing verbs, directional particles and their various combinations. These forms occurred in simplex and reduplicated predicates, and L2 learners employed these forms systematically to contrast bounded vs. unbounded motion events.

The use of reduplication in Hungarian L2 is a previously unreported finding in boundedness-related L2 acquisition research, and it is taken to be part of the pragmatic stage of L2 development, when grammatical means to render the bounded-unbounded semantic distinction are lacking. Taking a cross-linguistic perspective, though, reduplication is one attested means of encoding boundedness-related contrast in oral communication. Thus, these findings confirm that L2 grammar is not random but one possible human grammar in the languages of the world. Implications for Hungarian L2 teaching and research will be discussed.