L’acquisition du genre en français L2 – développement et variation
Sammanfattning: This thesis investigates the developpment of gender agreement in determiners and adjectives in the spontaneous speech of L2 French by five groups of Swedish learners: beginners at the university, secondary school students, university students, teacher candidates and PhD students. Different types of determiners are examined, such as definite and the indefinite articles. Adjectival agreement is studied in different positions in relation to the noun, such as the attributive anteposition, the attributive postposition and the predicative position. The aim is to identify the developmental sequence of gender agreement through a longitudinal study of learners at different levels of acquisition. The analysis is based on spoken language, i.e. 81 interviews belonging to the InterFra-corpus, Stockholm University. Our data also includes 8 oral productions from a control group of native speakers.The study is in three parts: one for the agreement between determiners and nouns, another for the agreement between adjectives and nouns and, finally, a study considering agreement between all three items within the noun phrase, i.e. determiner, noun and adjective (Det-N-Adj). A sequence of acquisition for gender agreement on determiners and adjectives is proposed based on the productions of four learner groups and compared to the six developmental stages suggested by Bartning and Schlyter (2004).Results have showed that there is an acquisition order of gender agreement in different parts of the nominal phrase, according to the type of determiner and the positions of the adjective. A qualitative analysis has shown a random use of gender agreement on determiners and some nouns are used with both genders on the determiner. Also, the type-token ratio is very low at the beginning of the acquisition, which partly explains the high accuracy rate (100 %). The study considering agreement between all three constituents within the noun phrase revealed that advanced learners have higher accuracy rate for gender agreement on adjectives within the noun phrase with the presence of a determiner that marks gender distinction (i.e. a non-elided, singular determiner). Results also showed that the feminine form of the adjectives remains difficult at higher acquisitional levels.
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