Volume 4 Issue 1-2 (2015)

Second Language Acquisition of Syntactic Movement in English by Turkish Adult Learners

pp. 23-36  |  Published Online: December 2015  |  DOI: 10.12973/unibulletin.412.3

Reyhan Agcam, Mustafa Coban, Zeynep Karadeniz Cisdik


There has been much discussion on the involvement of Universal Grammar (UG) in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) process. Despite growing research in the field, few precise answers to the problem have been suggested so far. Hence, recent L2 studies within the generative framework have shifted from investigating this issue to determining whether or not interlanguage grammars exhibit natural language characteristics (Can, Kilimci & Altunkol, 2007). The present study aimed to investigate L2 acquisition of syntactic movement in English noun clauses by Turkish adult learners. Accordingly, L1 involvement in SLA was sought through examining the upper intermediate Turkish learners’ knowledge about the movement in question. The study addressed the questions of whether or not Turkish adult ESL learners have problems, stemming from L1 interference, with the construction of the syntactic movement in English noun clauses, and whether or not there is any order of acquisition between the noun clauses in subject position and object position along with various wh-words. The study reported related findings, and concluded with a few pedagogical implications for practice, and a couple of suggestions for further directions.

Keywords: second language acquisition, universal grammar, syntactic movement, noun clause


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