L1-L2 convergence in clausal packaging in Japanese and English

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This study investigates L1-L2 convergence among bilinguals at an intermediate (CEFR-B2) level of L2 proficiency, focusing on the clausal packaging of Manner and Path of motion. Previous research has shown that Japanese speakers use multi-clause and English speakers single-clause constructions (Allen et al., 2003; Kita & Özyürek, 2003). We compared descriptions of motion from monolingual English and Japanese speakers to L1 and L2 descriptions from Japanese speakers of English as a second (ESL) and foreign (EFL) language. Contrary to previous research, results showed no significant difference between the monolinguals, who predominately used single-clause constructions packaging Manner and Path. However, bilinguals used significantly more multi-clause constructions in both their L1 and L2, with no effects of residence in the L2 community. Following Pavlenko (2011a), findings are interpreted as evidence for L1-L2 convergence. We discuss potential bidirectional cross-linguistic influences underpinning the L1-L2 convergence and implications for the restructuring of bilingual grammars.


External organisations
  • Syracuse University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics


  • bilingualism, convergence, motion events, clause, Japanese, English
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-494
JournalBilingualism: Language and Cognition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Published online Nov. 20, 2012 The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Humanities Lab (015101200), Linguistics and Phonetics (015010003)

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