CEFLING dissemination: Franceschina (2007b)

Franceschina, Florencia. 2007. Aspects of the development of number marking in L2 English. Paper presented at AFinLA Conference, Kuovola, Finland, 9-10 November 2007.


A number of proposals about natural sequences of development can be found in the SLA  literature (e.g., Klein and Perdue 1992, Pienemann 1998, Vainikka and Young-Scholten 2006). Some of these proposals will be used in this paper to make predictions about how the grammatical feature of number is expected to develop in L2 English. This feature was  chosen because it is relevant to the predictions of different frameworks and also because it is active in various linguistic domains of the target language (in the nominal and verbal domains, and at morphological, syntactic and semantic levels). 

An empirical investigation will consider how written performances classified using the global Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) levels conform to the developmental patterns predicted by the SLA literature. The study investigates L2 English written test performances rated at the six levels of the CEFR proficiency scale and it traces the emergence and mastery of number (including morphological, syntactic and semantic phenomena), as well as its relative accuracy, frequency and contexts of use between the times of emergence and mastery. 

Council of Europe. 2001. Common European framework of reference for languages: learning, teaching, assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Klein, Wolfgang, and Perdue, Clive. 1992. Utterance structure: developing grammars again. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Pienemann, Manfred. 1998. Language processing and L2 development. Processability
. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Vainikka, Anne, and Young-Scholten, Martha. 2006. The roots of syntax and how they grow: Organic Grammar, the Basic Variety and Processability Theory. In Paths of development in L1 and L2 acquisition. In honor of Bonnie D Schwartz, eds. Sharon Unsworth, Teresa Parodi, Antonella Sorace and Martha Young-Scholten, 77-106. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.