Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics VIAL

Moiken Jessen (1). The expression of Path in L2 Danish by German and Turkish learners. VIAL. Number 11/2014: 81-109.


Do language learners think in their first language (L1) when using their second language (L2)? This study explores the nature of crosslinguistic influence by investigating how German and Turkish learners of Danish express motion, paying special attention to the semantics of Path. We examined three aspects: overall Path frequency, Path complexity, and the subcomponents of Path. The presence of L1 influence in each aspect reflects how the interplay between form and meaning is carried over as a whole to the L2. In particular, we show how the selection of a specific Path meaning for expression in the L2 has its root in the structural and semantic properties of the L1. This raises important questions regarding how form and meaning are organized in the learnerÕs mind.

Keywords: L2 acquisition, motion events, crosslinguistic influence, thinking for speaking.

(1) University of Southern Denmark.

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