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The development of subordinate clauses in German and Swedish as L2s: a theoretical and methodological comparison

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Abstract
In this article, we aim to contribute to the debate about the use of subordination as a measure of language proficiency. We compare two theories of SLA—specifically, processability theory (PT; Pienemann, 1998) and dynamic systems theory (de Bot, Lowie, & Verspoor, 2007)—and, more particularly, their addressing of the development of subordinate clauses. Although DST uses measures from the complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF) research tradition (see Housen & Kuiken, 2009), PT uses the emergence criterion to describe language development. We will focus on the development of subordinate clauses and compare how subordination as such is acquired and how the processing procedures related to a specific subordinate clause word order is acquired in the interlanguage (IL) of second language German and Swedish learners. The learners’ language use shows that the use of subordination (as measured by a subordination ratio) fluctuates extensively. From the beginning of data collection, all learners use subordinate clauses, but their use of subordinate clauses does not increase linearly over time, which is expected by DST. When focusing on processability and the emergence of subordinate clause word order, however, a clear linear developmental sequence can be observed, revealing a clear difference between the nonacquisition and the acquisition of the subordinate clause word order rules. Our learner data additionally reveal a different behavior regarding lexical and auxiliary or modal verbs.
Keywords
LANGUAGE-ACQUISITION, 2ND-LANGUAGE ACQUISITION, COMPLEXITY, ACCURACY, PERSPECTIVE, EMERGENCE, PATTERNS, LEARNERS, FLUENCY, CAF

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MLA
Baten, Kristof, and Gisela Håkansson. “The Development of Subordinate Clauses in German and Swedish as L2s: a Theoretical and Methodological Comparison.” STUDIES IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION 37.2 (2015): 517–547. Print.
APA
Baten, K., & Håkansson, G. (2015). The development of subordinate clauses in German and Swedish as L2s: a theoretical and methodological comparison. STUDIES IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION, 37(2), 517–547.
Chicago author-date
Baten, Kristof, and Gisela Håkansson. 2015. “The Development of Subordinate Clauses in German and Swedish as L2s: a Theoretical and Methodological Comparison.” Studies in Second Language Acquisition 37 (2): 517–547.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Baten, Kristof, and Gisela Håkansson. 2015. “The Development of Subordinate Clauses in German and Swedish as L2s: a Theoretical and Methodological Comparison.” Studies in Second Language Acquisition 37 (2): 517–547.
Vancouver
1.
Baten K, Håkansson G. The development of subordinate clauses in German and Swedish as L2s: a theoretical and methodological comparison. STUDIES IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION. 2015;37(2):517–47.
IEEE
[1]
K. Baten and G. Håkansson, “The development of subordinate clauses in German and Swedish as L2s: a theoretical and methodological comparison,” STUDIES IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 517–547, 2015.
@article{5733570,
  abstract     = {In this article, we aim to contribute to the debate about the use of subordination as a measure of language proficiency. We compare two theories of SLA—specifically, processability theory (PT; Pienemann, 1998) and dynamic systems theory (de Bot, Lowie, & Verspoor, 2007)—and, more particularly, their addressing of the development of subordinate clauses. Although DST uses measures from the complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF) research tradition (see Housen & Kuiken, 2009), PT uses the emergence criterion to describe language development. We will focus on the development of subordinate clauses and compare how subordination as such is acquired and how the processing procedures related to a specific subordinate clause word order is acquired in the interlanguage (IL) of second language German and Swedish learners. The
learners’ language use shows that the use of subordination (as measured by a subordination ratio) fluctuates extensively. From the beginning of data collection, all learners use subordinate clauses, but their use of subordinate clauses does not increase linearly over time, which is expected by DST. When focusing on processability and the emergence of subordinate clause word order, however, a clear linear developmental sequence can be observed, revealing a clear difference between the nonacquisition and the acquisition of the subordinate clause word order rules. Our learner data additionally reveal a different behavior regarding lexical and auxiliary or modal verbs.},
  author       = {Baten, Kristof and Håkansson, Gisela},
  issn         = {0272-2631},
  journal      = {STUDIES IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION},
  keywords     = {LANGUAGE-ACQUISITION,2ND-LANGUAGE ACQUISITION,COMPLEXITY,ACCURACY,PERSPECTIVE,EMERGENCE,PATTERNS,LEARNERS,FLUENCY,CAF},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {517--547},
  title        = {The development of subordinate clauses in German and Swedish as L2s: a theoretical and methodological comparison},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0272263114000552},
  volume       = {37},
  year         = {2015},
}

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