International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Role of L1 Transfer in the Acquisition of Lexical-Functional Categories by Persian Speaking Learners of English
Ali Akbar Zare, Ali Akbar Jabbari

This research project attempts to study the initial state of English acquisition by Persian learners of English. The learning hypotheses proposed for the initial state of second language acquisition i.e. Minimal trees (Vainikka and Young–Schoton, 1994), Full access/Full transfer (Schwartz and Sproues,1994), and the Weak Parametric Transfer (Valueless Features) hypothesis (Eubank 1993/94, 1996), the study attempts to show which of three viewpoints is generalizable and applicable to foreign language acquisition. For this purpose 300 subjects out of 450 were  and based on a Oxford Quick Placement Test, they were divided into 3 levels of proficiency, i.e. elementary, intermediate and advanced groups. The subjects were supposed to retell a part of a film. The data analyzed via SPSS.9 software showed that the acquisition of all categories such as noun categories and verb categories except one category (copula "be") were consistent with Minimal trees view Point. Copula "be" category was consistent with both Minimal trees and Full access/Full transfer viewpoints. In short, Minimal trees viewpoint more convincingly gave an account for the initial state of English as a foreign language.

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