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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Expression of Identifiability and Accessibility in Adult German Language Learners
by Petrulio, Kyle A., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2018, 167; 10751994
Abstract (Summary)

The current study seeks to further the insight on why advanced speakers of additional languages still speak non-natively by connecting the fields of SLA (SLA) and discourse. Invoking the IH (IH) and discourse universals proposed by Chafe, this study seeks to build on previous work in both areas of linguistics.

Participants for this study were asked to watch a silent film that has been used in discourse research for the better part of the past 40 years called The Pear Film. They then described this film, showing how non-native speakers use their language in real time description. Using a model proposed from the work of Chafe was then used to analyze their noun phrases (NP) and how they are used in terms of identifiability and accessibility.

Although there were not many incorrect uses of the topics at hand due to the speakers being advanced, there were intriguing results that surfaced. This study revealed that non-native speakers avoided using NPs that had a lower cognitive cost almost altogether and when such were used, they were often used incorrectly. More importantly, however, this study compared these results to a native retelling and revealed the elements of native-like speech that did not surface at all in their speech. This all brings in to question the line of methodology of previous SLA discourse work and the need for more research looking at actual spoken language of non-native speakers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Abbuhl, Rebekha
Commitee: Ahland, Michael, Lott, Petra
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 57/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, Foreign language education, Language
Keywords: Bilingualism, Discourse, Identifiability, Interface hypothesis, Second language acquisition, The Pear Film
Publication Number: 10751994
ISBN: 978-0-438-00354-5
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