Treffers-Daller, J., & Calude, A.S. (2015). The role of statistical learning in the acquisition of motion event construal in a second language. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 18(5), 602–623. https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2015.1027146
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14248
Learning to talk about motion in a second language is very difficult because it involves restructuring deeply entrenched patterns from the first language. In this paper we argue that statistical learning can explain why L2 learners are only partially successful in restructuring their second language grammars. We explore to what extent L2 learners make use of two mechanisms of statistical learning, entrenchment and pre-emption to acquire target-like expressions of motion and retreat from overgeneralisation in this domain. Paying attention to the frequency of existing patterns in the input can help learners to adjust the frequency with which they use path and manner verbs in French but is insufficient to acquire the boundary crossing constraint and learn what not to say. We also look at the role of language proficiency and exposure to French in explaining the findings.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism on 30 April 2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13670050.2015.1027146.