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Auteur: Cecilia ANDORNO

Co-Auteur(s): Giusy TURCO, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Embedding additive particles in the sentence information structure: what L2 learners of Italian and German do (not) learn

Abstract/Résumé: Since 1986, Klein pinpointed the 'embedding problem' among the main tasks L2 learners have to cope with in L2 speaking, the term referring to the need of linking the semantic content of a sentence to the information already available in the ongoing discourse. Research in SLA has shown that, even when the lexical and morphosyntactic structures needed to express specific information configurations are in place, learners can still lack the ability to use them in the ongoing discourse according to TL preferences, thus sticking to L1 preferences (Carroll, Lambert 2003; Bohnacker, Rosén 2008; Lambert et al. 2008). Use of additive particles can pose similar embedding problems, as they typically occur in a peculiar, non canonical information configuration, in which a given predicate is claimed to hold for a new referent. Dimroth et al. (2010) show that speakers of Germanic and Romance languages differ in the way they embed additive particles in the sentence information structure. Following this study, we focus on the use of additive particles by intermediate learners of two language pairs (Italian L1 > German L2 and viceversa) and show that major problems arise with their embedding in the sentence information structure: both positional and prosodic analysis of additive sentences suggest that learners tend to use particles in L2 according to their L1 preferences. References Benazzo S. et al. 2012. Perspective discursive et influence translinguistique. Exprimer le contraste d'entité en français et en italien L2. LIA 2012, 3-2, 173-201. Benazzo S., Andorno C. 2010. Discourse cohesion and Topic discontinuity in native and learner production: Changing topic entities on maintained predicates. In L. Roberts et al. (eds.). EUROSLA Yearbook 10. 92-118. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Bohnacker U., Rosén C. 2008. The clause-initial position in L2 German Declaratives: Transfer of Information Structure. SSLA 30, 511-538. Carroll M. & Lambert M. 2003. Information structure in narratives and the role of grammaticised knowledge. In C. Dimroth, M. Starren (eds.), Information Structure and the dynamics of Language Acquisition. 267-287. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Dimroth C. et al. 2010. Given claims about new topics. How Romance and Germanic speakers link changed and maintained information in narrative discourse. JoP 42, 3328-3344. Lambert M. et al. 2008. Acquisition en L2 des principes d'organisation de récits spécifiques aux langues. AILE 26, 11-30. Turco G., Dimroth C., Braun B. 2012. Intonational means to mark Verum Focus in German and French. Language and Speech. Advance online publication.