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Factors Affecting Grammatical and Lexical Complexity of Long-Term L2 Speakers’ Oral Proficiency

Lahmann, C., Steinkrauss, R. & Schmid, M., 2016, In : Language Learning. 66, 2, p. 354-385 30 p.

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  • Factors Affecting Grammatical and Lexical Complexity of Long‐Term L2 Speakers’ Oral Proficiency

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DOI

There remains considerable disagreement about which factors drive second language (L2) ultimate attainment. Age of onset (AO) appears to be a robust factor, lending support to theories of maturational constraints on L2 acquisition. The present study is an investigation of factors that influence grammatical and lexical complexity at the stage of L2 ultimate attainment. Grammatical and lexical complexity were assessed in 102 spontaneous oral interviews. Interviewees’ AOs ranged from 7 to 17 years old. Multifactorial analyses yielded consistently significant effects of gender and level of education for grammatical and lexical complexity. Additionally, native language use at work was a significant predictor for lexical complexity; conversely, AO did not emerge as a significant factor. We conclude that grammatical and lexical complexity at the stage of L2 ultimate attainment is the result of a complex interplay of variables that are general to language learning and performance rather than L2 specific.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-385
Number of pages30
JournalLanguage Learning
Volume66
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Keywords

  • AGE-OF-ONSET, 2ND-LANGUAGE ACQUISITION, HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS, 2ND LANGUAGE, MATURATIONAL CONSTRAINTS, BILINGUAL DEVELOPMENT, SYNTACTIC COMPLEXITY, ULTIMATE ATTAINMENT, NATIVE SPEAKERS, PERSPECTIVE

ID: 29118368