Chapter 9. Cross Linguistic
Influence and Learner language

Chapter 9. (pp. 248-284)
Brown, D. H. (2007). Principles of language learning
and teaching. (5th ed.). White Plains, NY: Addison
Wesley Longman, Inc.
Prepared by: John Yang
Professor: Dr. Ming-Lung Yang (Roger)
Date: Oct 2, 2010
Preview
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The contrastive analysis
hypothesis ( CAH)
From the CAH to CLI
(cross-linguistic influence)
Markedness and universal
grammar
Learner language
Error analysis
Mistakes and errors
Errors in error analysis
Identifying and describing
errors
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Sources of errors
Interlingual transfers
Intralingual transfers
Context of learning
Stages of learner language
development
Variation in learner language
Fossilization or Stabilization?
Form-focused instruction
Categories of Error treatment
A model for error treatment
(in the classroom)
The Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis

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The CAH claimed that the principal barrier to second
language acquisition is the interference of L1 system with
the L2 system.(第一語言系統對第二語言系統的干擾)
A scientific- structural analysis will develop a taxonomy of
linguistic contrasts between them(兩種語言間的對照分類)
which will enable the linguist to predict the difficulties.
For example: Mark Twain”s The Innocents Aboard (p.249 line
21)
The Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis

“Those elements that are similar to native language will be
simple for him and those elements that are different will be
difficult” (Robert Lado 1957) (Banathy, Trager, and Waddle,
1966) (p.249 line 34)

Clifford Prator (1967) captured the essence of the
grammatical hierarchy in six categories of difficulty.
(Stockwell, Bowen, and Martin, 1965 called it hierarchy of
difficulty)
Six categories of hierarchy of difficulty
(a native English speaker learning Spanish as L2)
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Level 0-Transfer轉換.
No difference or contrast is
present between the two
languages. The learner can
simply transfer a sound,
structure, or lexical item from
the native language to the target
language.
Level 1 –coalescence 結合
two items in the native language
become coalesced into
essentially one item in the target
language. Example: English 3rd p.
possessives require gender
distinction (his/her) and in
Spanish they do not (su)

Level 2 Underdifferentiation 分化不
足 –an item in the native
language is absent in the target
language. 用do表時態,wh字的所
有格(whose),學西班牙文時要忘記
它
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Level 3 Reinterpretation 重新詮釋
–an item that exists in the native
language is given a new shape or
distribution. Example: 學法語時要
學會鼻音化母音
(p.250)
Cont.
Level 4. Overdifferentiation 過度分化–a new
item entirely, bearing any similarity to the native
language item, must be learned. Example:
English speakers must learn the use of
determiners in Spanish –man is mortal/El
hombre es mortal.
 Level 5. Split 分裂–one item in the native
language becomes two or more in the target
language requiring the learner to make a new
distinction. English speakers must learn the
distinction between (ser) and (estar)

From the CAH to CLI
(cross-linguistic influence)
The Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis
對照分析假說預測學習遭遇的困難明顯有缺點,第一,整
個過程過於簡單,第二,即使有六大分級,也很難歸屬哪
一類,第三,困難等級預測是否可被證實,也有爭議。
(Wardhaugh, 1970) –稱這種以對照分析來預測困難等級的
方法為對照分析強勢版本(the strong version of the CAH )
Wardhaugh 將對照分析解釋可以觀察到困難的方式稱之為
對照分析弱勢版本(the weak version of the CAH)
Cross-Linguistic Influence (CLI)跨語言影響(Odlin, 2003;
Kellerman, 1995)
“influence” is more important than “prediction”
CAH to CLI
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The so-called weak version of the CAH is what
remains today under the label cross-linguistic
influence (CLI) .
Syntactic , lexical, and semantic interference
show far more variation among learners than
psycho-motor-based pronunciation interference.
 Example:法國人說英文“I am in New York since
January”

CAH to CLI
Whitman and Jackson (1972),
Participant: 2500 Japanese
Result: no support for the predictions of
the contrastive analyses
 Oller and Ziahosseiny (1970),
“subtle difference” version
Roman script v.s. non- Roman script

Markedness and universal grammar
顯著性與共通語法
Eckman (2004, 1981, 1977) proposed a
useful method for determining directionality
of difficulty-markedness theory(語言明顯差
異理論).
 It accounted for degrees of principles of
universal grammar.Eckman showed that
marked items in a language will be more
difficult to acquire than unmarked, and that
degree of markedness will correspond to
degrees of difficulty.
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Markedness
Celse-Murcia and Hawkins (1985,p.66)
sum up markedness theory:
(p.254 line 19)
It distinguishes members of a pair of related

forms or structures by assuming that the
marked member of a pair contains at least one
more feature than the unmarked one. In
addition, the unmarked (neutral) member has a
wider range of distribution than the marked one.
In the English indefinite articles (a and an) an is
the more complex or marked form.
 Markedness
theory:
 Universal Grammar:
 Competition Model:
 CAH To CLI
(p.255 line 28)
Teachers of foreign languages can benefit from
UG and markedness research, but even in this
hope-filled avenue of research, an instant map
predicting learner difficulties is not right around
the corner.
Learner language
Learners are consciously testing hypotheses about
the target language from many possible sources of
knowledge.
1. knowledge of the native language
2. limited knowledge of the target language itself
3. knowledge of communicative functions of
language
4. knowledge about language in general
5. knowledge about life, human beings, and the
universe.
 Learners act upon the environment and construct
what to them is a legitimate system of language in
its own right.

Learner language
(p.256)
“interlingual” (Weinreich, 1953)
 “interlanguage”(Selinker, 1972)
中介語言─語言學習者自身發展起來的一
種語言體系,結合所學語言與母語語言的
特點。
 “approximative system”相似的體系
(Nemser, 1971)
 “idiosyncratic dialect” 個人特有方言
(Corder, 1971)

Learner language(p.256)
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The most obvious approach to analyzing
interlanguage is to study the speech and
writing of learners –learner language 學習
者語言(Lightbown & Spada 1993; James, 1990)

Production data is publicly observable and is presumably
reflective of a learner’s underlying competence.
It follows that the study of the speech and writing of learners
is largely the study of the errors of learners. “Correct”
production yields little information about the actual linguistic

system of learners.
Error analysis
Error analysis(p.257)
Human learning is fundamentally a process that
involves the making of mistakes.
 Learning to swim, to play tennis, to type by profiting
from mistakes.(p.257 line 7)
 L2 learning is a process that is clearly not unlike L1
learning in its trial-and-error nature. Inevitably,
learners will make mistakes in the process of
acquisition, and that process will be impeded if they
do not commit errors and then benefit from various
forms of feedback on those errors.
 Corder (1967) noted: “a learner’s errors are
significant in that they provide to the researcher
evidence of how language is learned or acquired,
what strategies or procedures the learner is
employing in the discovery of the language.”

Mistakes and errors(p.258 line10)

Mistake失誤 –performance error (the
learner knows the system but fails to use
it)

Error 錯誤–errors of one’s systematic
competence (The learner’s system is
incorrect).
Question
 Can
you tell the difference
between an error and a mistake?
Question
 Can
you tell the difference
between an error and a mistake?
Self-correct
1.John cans sing / John can sing
2.John cans sing / John wills sing / John mays
come
Mistakes and errors
The fact that learners do make errors, and
these errors can be analyzed, led to a
surge of study of learners’ errors, called
error analysis.
 Error analysis became distinguished from
contrastive analysis by its examination of
errors attributable to all possible sources,
not just those resulting from negative
transfer of the native language.

Errors in error analysis (p.259 line18)
There is a danger in too much attention to
learner’s errors.
 A classroom teacher can become so
preoccupied with noticing errors that the
correct utterances in L2 go unnoticed.
 While the diminishing of errors is an
important criterion for increasing language
proficiency, the ultimate goal of L2
learning is the attainment of
communicative fluency.

Errors in error analysis (p.259-260)
Error analysis fail to account for the strategy of
avoidance (Gass & Selinker, 2001; Ellis, 2000;
James, 1998; Tarone, 1981;, Kleinmann, 1997)
 Schachter (1974) found, for example:
Relative clause errors- native Japanesenative-Persian
 Conclusion: Production errors are only a subset
of the overall performance of the learner
錯誤產生只是學習者整體表現的一小部分
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Identifying and describing errors
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One of the most common difficulties in understanding
the linguistic systems of both L1 and L2 is the fact that
such systems cannot be directly observed –they must be
inferred by means of analyzing production and
comprehension data.
The first step in the process of analysis is the
identification and description of errors. Corder (1971)
provided a model for identifying erroneous or
idiosyncratic utterances in a second language. (Figure
9.1) (p. 261)
A
major distinction is made between
overt and covert errors.
Discussion
What is the difference between overt
errors and covert errors? (p. 260)
2. Talk about some of the errors you are
making (made) in learning a foreign
language.
3. Analyze where those errors come
from.
1.
(p. 260)
a. overt明顯的 –erroneous utterances
ungrammatically at the sentence level
1.
(p. 260)
b. covert隱藏的 –grammatically well-formed
but not according to context of
communication.
examples

(p. 262)
Does John can sing?
A. NO
C. YES
D. Can John sing?
E. original sentence contained pre-posed do
auxiliary applicable to most verbs, but not to
verbs with auxiliaries. OUT 2
Categories for description of errors
(p. 262-263)
(Lennon 1991)
1.Errors of addition, omission, substitution, and
ordering (math) 增加,省略,替換,排序
*Does can he sing?
*I went to movie.
*I lost my road.
*I to the store went.
2.Phonology or orthography, lexicon, grammar,
and discourse音韻,拼字,語彙,文法及
篇章結構
Categories for description of errors (p. 262263)
3.Global or local 總體或局部
總體性的錯誤會阻礙溝通(p. 263 line 9)
(a scissors)是一種局部性的錯誤,並不會阻
礙訊息的傳遞
4.Domain and extent 範疇與範圍
(a scissors)它的範疇為詞組,範圍是屬不定
冠詞
Sources of Error
Interlingual transfer
Interlingual (L1 and L2) transfer is a
significant source of error for all learners.
For example: say “sheep” for “ship” or
“the book of Jack” instead of “Jackbook”

* ? when the Japanese speaker learns the
English /r/ …. “Richard” “Peter” “waiter”
Intralingual transfer

It is now clear that intralingual transfer
(within the target language itself) is a
major factor in L2 learning. It is referred
to as overgeneralization過度類化.
“Does John can sing?” “He goed,” “I don’t know what
time is it”
see examples on p. 264 line 38, nine
different types of error:
 Table 9.1. Typical English intralingual
errors in the use of articles

Contexts of learning
Context refers, for example, to the
classroom with its teacher and its
materials in the case of school learning or
the social situation in the case of
untutored second language learning.
 In a classroom context the teacher or the
textbook can lead to the learner to make
faulty hypotheses. Richards (1971) called
it “false concepts錯誤觀念” Stenson(1974)
termed “induced errors誘導式錯誤”

Stages of learner language
development
Corder (1973)
1.1st stage –random errors隨機錯誤, Corder
called pre-systematic系統前錯誤
“John cans sing,”“John can to sing,” “John
can singing,”
2.2nd stage –(emergent) stage. 浮現階段
Conversation between (L) and (NS)

(p. 267 line 23 )
L:
NS:
L:
NS:
L:
NS:
L:
NS:
L:
I go New York.
You’re going to New York?
(doesn’t understand) What?
You will go to New York?
Yes.
When?
1972
Oh, you went to New York in 1972.
Yes, I go 1972.
Stages of learner language
development
3. 3rd stage –truly systematic stage真正系統
化階段 (p. 268 line 3 )
L: Many fish are in the lake. These fish are
serving in the restaurants near the lake.
NS: [laughing] The fish are serving?
L: [laughing] Oh, no, the fish are being
served in the restaurants.
Stages of learner language
development
4. Final stage –stabilization stage 穩定化階
段階段; Corder (1973) called it
postsystematic後系統化 stage.
This fourth stage is characterized by the
learner’s ability to self-correct.
Variation in learner language

Notable among models of variability are
Elaine Tarone's capability continuum
paradigm and Rod Ellis's variable
competence model

Tarone (1988) suggested four categories of
variation:
1. linguistic context
2. psychological processing factors
3. social context
4. language function
Variation in learner language

Rod Ellis:
situation context
Linguistic context
吃飯皇帝大 VS 煮飯火氣大
planned and unplanned discourse
He buys her a bunch of flower.
He visits her every day and buy her a bunch of
flowers.
Feedback
Vigil and Oller (1976) provided the following model:
Affective
1. (positive) Keep
talking; I’m listening
2. (neutral ) I’m not
sure I want to
continue this
conversation.
3. (negative) This
conversation is over
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Cognitive
1. (pos.) I understand
your message; it’s
clear.
2. (neutral) I’m not
sure if I correctly
understand you or
not.
3. I don’t understand
what you are saying;
it’s not clear.

Affective/cognitive feedback for
error treatment (p. 273 )
Vigil and Oller (1976)
red (-) abort (X)
Message
yellow (0)
green (+)
affective
feedback
recycle
continue
continue
cognitive
feedback
Fossilization

The relative permanent incorporation of
incorrect linguistic forms into a person’s
L2 competence

Oller (1976) provided a formal account of
fossilization as a factor of positive and
negative affective and cognitive feedback
Fossilization
may be the result
of too many green lights when
there should have been some
yellow or red lights.
Bailey (1985) recommended a useful taxonomy for error treatment
classification; 7 basic options complemented by 7 possible features

BASIC OPTIONS
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POSSIBLE FEATURES
1.
To treat or to ignore
To treat immediately or delay
To transfer treatment (other
learners) or not
To transfer to another individual,
subgroup or the whole class
To return , or not, to original
error maker after treatment
To allow other learners to
initiate treatment
To test for efficacy of the
treatment
1.
Fact or error indicated
Location indicated
Opportunity for new attempt
given
Model provided
Error type indicated
Remedy indicated
Improvement indicated
Praise indicated
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Form-focused instruction (FFI)
What is “Form” ?
 Definition
(Spada, 1997,)
“Any pedagogical effort which is used to
draw learner’s attention to language form
either implicitly or explicitly”

Categories of error treatment
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A. Types of feedback
1. Recast
L: I lost my road.
T: Oh, yeah, I see, you lost your way. And
then what happen?
2. Clarification request 要求澄清
L: I want practice today, today. (grammatical error)
T: I’m sorry? (clarification request)
3. Metalinguistic feedback 後設語言回饋
L: I am here since January.
T: Well, ok, but remember we talked about the present
perfect tense?
Categories of error treatment
4. Elicitation誘出
L: [to another student] What mean this word?
T: Uh, Luis, how do we say that in English? What
does…?
L: Ah, What does this word mean?
5. Explicit correction 明確更正
L: When I have 12 years old…..
T: No, not have. You mean,” When I was 12 years old….. ”
6. Repetition
L: When I have 12 years old…..
T: When I was 12 years old…..
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The End
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Chapter 8 Cross Linguistic Influence and Learner language