Given that Mandarin is a verb-serializing language, Russian a satellite-framed language, and Spanish a verb-framed language, the current study examines Mandarin college students’ acquisition of Russian and Spanish as L2, to understand the strength of L1 preferences for expression of PATH on Russian and Spanish majors’ second language acquisition in Taiwan. Based on oral narrative data, the study focuses on lexicalization and concatenation preferences in L1 and L2 languages. First, Russian majors’ morphosyntactic preferences show that L1 Mandarin affects students’ acquisition of Russian at the elementary level. However, in the acquisition of Spanish, learners’ native language does not hold strength; Spanish majors’ morphosyntactic patterning conforms more to that in L2 Spanish for both elementary and intermediate levels. Moreover, the Spanish majors appear to be developing their L2 concatenation patterning in a way that is divergent from the target L2 Spanish. The findings provide a deeper understanding of the different degrees of L1 influence on learners’ acquisition of L2 Russian and of L2 Spanish at various levels of proficiency.
The 27th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information, and Computation