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  • Scott Jarvis (a1) and Terence Odlin (a2)

This study clarifies issues related to the transferability of bound morphology and reports on an empirical investigation of morphological transfer in the spatial expressions of Finnish-speaking (n= 140) and Swedish-speaking (n= 70) adolescent learners of English. The results indicate that both the bound, agglutinative morphology of the L1 Finnish spatial system and the free, prepositional morphology of the L1 Swedish spatial system constrain the types of options that learners pursue in their L2 English spatial reference. Additionally, however, the structural and semantic differences between the two L1 systems result in different patterns of spatial reference in the L2. We characterize these differences in terms of semantic transfer and simplification, and go on to show how transfer and simplification interact in our data.

Corresponding author
Address correspondence to: Scott Jarvis, Dept. of Linguistics, Ohio University, Gordy Hall 383, Athens, OH 45701; email:
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Studies in Second Language Acquisition
  • ISSN: 0272-2631
  • EISSN: 1470-1545
  • URL: /core/journals/studies-in-second-language-acquisition
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