The production of preverbal liaison in Swedish learners of L2 French

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Abstract

The acquisition of preverbal liaison (e.g. ils arrivent /ilzaʀiv/) in second language (L2) French has rarely been explored in detail in previous studies on obligatory liaison. In this study, we conducted an elicited imitation test in order to study the influence of proficiency level, modality (spoken or written), and verb frequency on the use of preverbal liaison among 42 Swedish learners of L2 French and 21 native speakers of French. The results indicate that L2 beginners had considerable difficulty with the production of preverbal liaison, while the most proficient L2 learners performed nearly as well as the native speakers. In addition, we observed that beginner learners, in contrast to the more proficient ones, performed better with written than spoken stimuli. Finally, we observed no impact of verb frequency on participant performance. Based on these results, we discuss the possible influence of input frequency (both type and token) on the production of preverbal liaison, and conclude that future studies need to address the input characteristics of the L2 classroom in more detail.

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  • General Language Studies and Linguistics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-139
JournalLIA Language, Interaction and Acquisition
Volume10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May 25
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes