A Psycholinguistic Study of Freshmen Students’ Interlanguage with Reference to Verbal Negation in Declarative Sentences
This study is concerned with the analysis of the interlanguage (hence - forth IL) of a homogenous group consisting of (140) freshmen students who were admitted to the English department at Al-Mustansiriya University at the beginning of the academic year 2001 - 2002. The analysis is carried out in association with the learning strategies (hence forth LS) hypothesized to account for 12 learners’ IL products and within the framework of verbal negation in declarative sentences. To elicit the data from the subjects, a number of testing devices were designed. The study consists of three sections: Section one presents the theoretical background to the study. It presents a brief linguistic description of negation in both English and Arabic. Section two explains the method used to elicit & analyze the data. It also provides an analysis of the data in terms of LS hypothesized to account for IL products. These strategies are: 1- interference, 2- overgeneralization, 3- ignorance of rule restrictions, 4- incomplete application of rules, 5- false concepts hypothesized and 6- simplification. Finally, section three discusses the weaknesses of the framework of the analysis and the respective importance of L2 acquisition = L1 acquisition and contrastive analysis hypotheses with respect to the present data. Then it attempts to briefly provide the linguistic information about the subjects’ IL that can be inferred from the errors they made in the data. Lastly, there will be presentation of the main results of the study and then conclusions summing up the main findings arrived at through the study and pointing out its significance.
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