It is widely reported that second language speakers of English
diverge from native speakers in their use of articles; they omit
articles, and they assign interpretations to articles that are not
those assigned by native speakers. Many studies have focused on
speakers whose L1s lack articles. Within the framework of the Full
Transfer/Full Access hypothesis, a number of proposals have
emerged: learners have difficulty mapping abstract syntactic
representations into phonological form, or they have difficulty
with 'feature assembly' in the L2. This book provides new evidence
from speakers of Syrian Arabic and French. The results suggest that
both Syrian Arabic and French speakers use English articles
differently from speakers of L1s that lack articles, and
differently from each other. It is argued that the findings are
consistent with Full Transfer of the properties of the L1
initially, followed by restructuring towards target use of English
articles, consistent with Full Access to Universal Grammar.
Persistent non-target-like use of articles appears to be a problem
of 'feature re- assembly'.
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