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Linguistics III
Set 1: Cross linguistic influence and learner language
Psychological principles of SLA form the foundation stones for building a comprehensible understanding of the acquisition of the linguistic system. The studies was centered on the contrasts between the native lang and the target lang (contrastive analysis) and the effect of the native on the target lang (cross linguistic influence). 1-The contrastive analysis Hypothesis

It’s the study of two languages in contrast. Based on the behavioristic and structuralism approaches, it claimed that the principal barrier to SLA is the interference of the FL system with the SL system, and that a scientific, structural analysis of both lang in question would shield a taxonomy of linguistic contrasts between them which in turn would enable the linguist to predict the difficulties a learner could encounter. This would enable the linguist to accurately describe the two langs in question, and to match those two descriptions against each other to determine valid contrasts between them. Behaviorism contributed to the notion that human behavior is the sum of its smallest parts and components, and therefore that lang learning could be described as the acquisitions of all of those discrete units. Moreover, human learning theories highlighted interfering elements of learning, concluding that where no interference could be predicted, no difficulty would be experienced since one could transfer positively all other items in a lang. (SL basically involved the overcoming of the differences between the two lang systems-the native and target langs) Some rather strong claims were made of the CAH by lang teaching experts and linguists. A well-known model was offered by stock-well, Bowen and martin who posited what they called a hierarchy of difficulty by which a teacher could make a prediction of the relative difficulty of a given aspect of the target lang. They suggested eight possible phonological degrees of difficulty and they also constructed a hierarchy of difficulty for grammatical structures which included 16 levels of difficulty. Clifford Prator captured the essence of this grammatical hierarchy in six categories of difficulty which was applicable to both grammatical and phonological features of lang. * Level 0: Transfer. No difference or contrast is present between the 2 langs. The learner can simply transfer positively a sound, structure, or lexical item from the native lang to the target lang. EG: mortal, inteligente, arte, Americanos, etc. *Level 1-coalescence. Two items in the native lang become coalesce into one item in the target one. This requires the learner overlook a distinction they have grown accustomed to. EG: English 3rd person possessives require gender distinction while in Spanish they don’t. *Level 2-underdifferenciation: an item in the native lang is absent in the target lang. The learner must avoid it. EG: auxiliaries: DO. *Level 3-Reinterpretation: an item that exists in the native lang is given a new shape or distribution. *Level 4-Overdifferentiation: a new item entirely must be learned. English speakers learning Spanish must learn to include determiners in generalized nominal. (Man is mortal/El hombre es mortal); to learn Spanish grammatical gender inherent in nouns. *Level 5-Split:one item in the native lang becomes two or more in the target lang, requiring the learner to make a new distinction. E.g. an English speaker learning Spanish must learn the distinction between “Ser” o “estar” (TO BE). Prator and Stockwell both claimed that their hierarchy could be applied to virtually any two langs and make it possible to predict SL learner difficulties in any lang with a fair degree of certainty and objectivity. 2-From the CAH to CLI

However, The CAH was not accepted for various reasons. First, it was oversimplified because it didn’t account for subtle phonetic, phonological and grammatical distinctions. Secondly, it was difficult to determine exactly...
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