I wonder who that took the dog out this morning : an investigation of L1 Norwegian transfer in L2 English indirect questions
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The role of the first language in second language acquisition has inspired research for many decades, and is highly relevant also in modern language research. Without doubt, there are still various issues to be explored within the field; one of these is transfer, connected with the role of the native language. The English competence of Norwegian L1 speakers is an interesting area to explore when investigating transfer in the L2, because Norwegians arguably are generally quite proficient in English. Thus, it is interesting to investigate how Norwegians handle differences in the L1 and L2. One such difference is the contrasting procedures involved in the construction of English and Norwegian indirect questions; in indirect questions with wh-movement from the subject position, the overtly pronounced complementizer som is required in Norwegian, while in English, that/which/who would be ungrammatical in the same construction. Through acceptability judgements and translations made by Norwegian L1 speakers, this thesis investigates whether there is evidence of transfer in the L2 English of Norwegian L1 speakers – focusing on indirect questions specifically. The findings show that there is in fact some evidence of transfer in the Norwegian participants’ L2 English. This seems to appear in acceptance of ungrammatical structures, and arguably to an even greater extent in low acceptance of grammatical structures as well as in translations.