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Saute ça : the acquisition of the faire faire causative by first and second language learners of French

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Saute ça : the acquisition of the faire faire causative by first and second language learners of French

Sarkar, Mekhala (2000) Saute ça : the acquisition of the faire faire causative by first and second language learners of French. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Do young Bengali-speaking children learning French as a second language at preschool follow the same developmental path as French first language children with respect to the acquisition of the French faire faire causative? As an initial step toward answering this question, a flexible semi-structured play protocol was developed for the elicitation of the faire faire causative from both first and second language learners. In the first part of the study, longitudinal data were collected from eight monolingual children acquiring French as a first language in Montreal. The children were audio- and video-taped in their homes for 30 to 45 minutes every two to four weeks for at least six months, and their data were analyzed for occurrences of causative constructions, such as Je fais sauter la grenouille , and single-agent infinitival complement constructions such as Je veux jouer in which the same argument (agent or actor) applies to both modal and infinitive. Causative constructions are double-agent; the grammatical subject of the sentence (and semantic agent of the verb faire ) and the grammatical object of faire (and semantic agent of the following infinitive) are two distinct arguments. The argument structure of causative constructions is therefore more complex than that of single-agent infinitival complement constructions. Both kinds of constructions emerged at the same time in the speech of the French-L1 children, sometime between the second and fourth birthdays. In the second part of the study, cross-sectional data from 24 Bengali-L1 children aged 5 and 6 were analyzed. A standardized measure of receptive vocabulary in French was taken from each L2 child, as well as a 30-minute naturalistic speech sample incorporating the causative elicitation procedure. The L2 children's receptive vocabulary and their ability to form single-agent infinitival complement constructions resembled that of the 2and 3-year-old French monolingual children, but their ability to form causative constructions lagged far behind. Some possible explanations for this finding are suggested. Differences in the input to the two groups, aspects of the syntax of causativization in French, and first language influence may all be implicated.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Sarkar, Mekhala
Pagination:xv, 323 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:School of Graduate Studies
Date:2000
Thesis Supervisor(s):Lightbown, Patsy M
ID Code:1202
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:17
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:19
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