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  • Akira Murakami (a1) and Theodora Alexopoulou (a2)


We revisit morpheme studies to evaluate the long-standing claim for a universal order of acquisition. We investigate the L2 acquisition order of six English grammatical morphemes by learners from seven L1 groups across five proficiency levels. Data are drawn from approximately 10,000 written exam scripts from the Cambridge Learner Corpus. The study establishes clear L1 influence on the absolute accuracy of morphemes and their acquisition order, therefore challenging the widely held view that there is a universal order of acquisition of L2 morphemes. Moreover, we find that L1 influence is morpheme specific, with morphemes encoding language-specific concepts most vulnerable to L1 influence.

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