Reference to kinds in L2 English

Yılmaz Köylü


This study investigated the acquisition of kind referring noun phrase interpretation in L2 English by learners with Turkish, Arabic and Chinese L1 backgrounds. 37 advanced learners of English with Turkish (10), Arabic (10) and Chinese (10) L1 backgrounds, and 7 native English speakers were recruited. The tasks were a 48-item Fill in the gaps task and a 64-item Acceptability judgment task. The results indicated that: (a) native speakers, and L2 learners mostly produced bare plurals for count nouns and bare singulars for mass nouns for kind reference; (b) L2 learners of English transferred the morphosyntactic manifestation of kind reference from their L1s, substantiating the Full Transfer Full Access Hypothesis (Schwartz & Sprouse, 1996); and (c) the similarity between the participants’ L1s and L2 did not always lead them to produce correct noun forms and articles for kind reference, neither did such a similarity consistently help the learners in their acceptability judgments for kind reference.


genericity; kind reference; second language acquisition; Turkish; Arabic; Chinese

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