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Second Language Acquisition and parameters (re)setting

Tildelt: kr 69 999

Second language acquisition (SLA) is a wide and interesting field of research, to which many scholars have contributed under different theoretical frameworks, both for adult SLA and early SLA. The theoretical framework to which I refer in my work is that of generative grammar and my research project concerns adult SLA of Finnish and Italian. A native speaker of a certain language has set the language-specific parameters very early and in an unconscious way. On the other hand, the acquisition of a second l anguage in adulthood involves the presence of an L1 to which the speaker can refer to and, in the majority of cases, a conscious intention of learning the target language. The process of second language acquisition goes through different stages ending wit h the correct configuration of the language parameters in the target language. The grammar that emerges in these different stages of SLA is defined as interlanguage grammar and the main aim of studying it is to have a better and deeper understanding of la nguage structures and of the underlying processes of second language acqusition. Until now, I have been conducting various linguistic tests on adult second language acquisition and I have collected interesting data from Italian and Finnish observing subje ct-verb orders in answers, object drop, the use of clitic pronouns, and the use of null/explicit subjects as Finnish is non pro-drop only for 3rd person. It would be relevant to extend this kind of linguistic experiment in second language acquisition to N orwegian. The YGGDRASIL grant will give me this research opportunity enriching thus the set of previously collected data from native speakers (Italian, English, German, French, and now Finnish) and it will permit me to conclude the analysis of the observe d phenomenons from a comparative view in a high-level research centre.