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Sep 17, 2013 1
ACQUISITION OF THE
ITALIAN CLITICS BY
CHILD L1 AND ADULT L2
LEARNERS
BY: DERYA AGIS
ANKARA, TURKEY
Sep 17, 2013 2
OUTLINE
• 1. Introduction
• 2. What are the Italian Clitics?
• 2.a. Italian Object and
Accusative Clitics
•...
Sep 17, 2013 3
1. INTRODUCTION
• Previous study on L1 acquisition
has shown that “children learn
each noun in combination ...
Sep 17, 2013 4
Cont’d
• It was found out that “the assignment of the
subject and object is often dependent on the
precedin...
Sep 17, 2013 5
Cont’d
• Moreover, it was also
discovered that double clitic
constructions with first and
second person ind...
Sep 17, 2013 6
PREVIOUS STUDY ON SECOND
LANGUAGE ACQUISITION HAS
SHOWN THE FOLLOWING:
• Most of the L2 learners do not sho...
Sep 17, 2013 7
2. WHAT ARE THE
ITALIAN CLITICS?
• The clitics are the objectThe clitics are the object
pronouns which we c...
Sep 17, 2013 8
Cont’d
• According to Holmberg (1986,According to Holmberg (1986,
1991) clitics are weak pronouns1991) clit...
Sep 17, 2013 9
Cont’d
MASC.
1ST
PERSON DAT. & ACC mi
2ND
PERSON ÉÉ.. DAT. & ACC ti
3RD
PERSON DAT. gli, ACC. lo
4TH
PERSON...
When two clitics combine, the dative clitic must precede the
accusative one, or partitive clitic ‘ne’:
Sep 17, 2013 10
Sep 17, 2013 11
Position of the clitics:
• The clitic can be attached to the auxiliary
verb in the first sentence:
• (1) D...
Sep 17, 2013 12
Position of the Clitics:
• Clitics become enclitics, when
they are attached to imperatives:
• (3a) Di - m ...
Sep 17, 2013 13
Position of the clitics:
• Clitics must precede the verb:
(4) Lo vedo
It I see 1st pers sg present tense
‘...
Sep 17, 2013 14
Position of the clitics:
• In (7b) the clitic ‘li’, in (8b) the clitic
‘la’ adjoin to the inflectional ele...
Sep 17, 2013 15
Let’s observe:
• (7) a. Linda ha letto i libri
Linda has read the, masc. pl.
books
• b. Linda li ha letti
...
Sep 17, 2013 16
Cont’d
• (8) a. Linda ha mangiato la
torta Linda has
eaten the, fem. sg. cake
• b. Linda la ha
mangiata
• ...
Sep 17, 2013 17
Sep 17, 2013 18
3. MY DATA
1. AIM OF THE STUDY
• The aim of the study is to
show that the L1 parameters
are reset easily, ...
Sep 17, 2013 19
2. Hypotheses
• Polish are more successful at
learning the clitics,
• Polish adults make less
accusative c...
Sep 17, 2013 20
Cont’d
• The dative clitics are acquired
after the accusative clitics by
Italian children, and Polish
adul...
Sep 17, 2013 21
NOTE:
• As there can be some individual
differences among the
participants, I skipped the role of
gender i...
Sep 17, 2013 22
4. DATA
• The data were gathered from
the monolingual Stefano, a 2
- year- old boy; each
recording lasted ...
Stefano
Sep 17, 2013 23
Sep 17, 2013 24
Cont’d
• I chose 10 students (5
intermediate and 5 upper -
intermediate level students) of
the Italian Cul...
Sep 17, 2013 25
Cont’d
• I used a grammaticality
judgment test, prepared by
myself to test the clitic
acquisition of Polis...
Sep 17, 2013 26
PROCEDURE
• I observed each sentence of
Stefano, and the answers of the
adults,
• There were totally 60 qu...
Sep 17, 2013 27
5. ANALYSES
THE COMPARISON OF THE
NUMBER OF CLITIC ERRORS
BY STEFANO, TURKISH AND
POLISH STUDENTS
Sep 17, 2013 28
Cont’d
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
ERRORS RATE OF
ERROR
Stefano 19mnts
Stefano 21 mnts
Stefano 2 yrs
S INTM TR
P
E...
Sep 17, 2013 29
Cont’d
As the sample size is statistically
small for the four groups of
Italian as a foreign language
lear...
Sep 17, 2013 30
Cont’d
A B C D
Error 94 43 24 15
Correct 206 257 96 105
Total 300 300 120 120
Here are the Chi-Square
Resu...
Sep 17, 2013 31
Cont’d
• Contingency table:
A B C D
1 94 43 24 15 176
2 206 257 96 105 664
300 300 120 120 840
Sep 17, 2013 32
Cont’d
Expected contingency table:
A B C D
1 62.9 62.9 25.1 25.1
2 237. 237. 94.9 94.9
Chi-square= 32.7
De...
Sep 17, 2013 33
Is there a difference between Turkish and Polish
upper-intermediate level students?
Contingency table:
A B...
Sep 17, 2013 34
Expected contingency
table:
A B
1 41.4 16.6
2 259. 103.
Chi-square= 0.242
Degrees of freedom= 1
Probabilit...
Sep 17, 2013 35
Is there a difference between Turkish and Polish
intermediate level students?
Data: contingency table
A B
...
Sep 17, 2013 36
Expected: contingency
table
A B
1 84.3 33.7
2 216. 86.3
chi-square = 5.45
Degrees of freedom = 1
Probabili...
Sep 17, 2013 37
5. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
What can be the reasons why
Polish can learn the clitics easily?
• This is conce...
Sep 17, 2013 38
PARAMETERS?
• If L2 learners perform similarly
to NSs, they must be
constrained by UG (White
1993).
• Poli...
Sep 17, 2013 39
Turkish word order:
1. The main pattern of affirmative
sentences is subject (PRO -
DROP) + object + verb
2...
Sep 17, 2013 40
L2 problem
• In Italian the main pattern of
affirmative sentences is subject
+ object + verb with clitics
...
Sep 17, 2013 41
Gender agreement
• Just like Italian, in Polish
there is gender agreement:
Cont’d
Sep 17, 2013 42
Gender
singular
masc fem neuter
endings -y
-i
-a -e
example gruby gruba grube
Sep 17, 2013 43
Declension of nouns
nom Dywan
carpet
Pokoj
room
gen -u -u
dat =owi -owi
acc
inst -em -em
loc -e -u
Sep 17, 2013 44
Cognitive reasons
• The existence of fem. and
masc. endings makes it
easier to learn Italian for
Polish
• ...
Sep 17, 2013 45
6. BIBLIOGRAPHY
• Alexandrova, G. M. (21 – 23
May 1999). “Where
derivational time and space
meet, clitics ...
Sep 17, 2013 46
Cont’d
• Anderson, S. (April 1994). “How to put your clitics
in their Place or why the best account of sec...
Sep 17, 2013 47
Cont’d
• Egerland, V. (2002). “How weak
pronouns become clitics: Dative Loro
in Old Italian”. LiP, Linguis...
Sep 17, 2013 48
Cont’d
• Prèvost, P. & White, L. (2000). Accounting
for morphological variation in second
language acquis...
Sep 17, 2013 49
THANK YOU
Sep 17, 2013 50
CONTACT INFO:
Deryaagis@yahoo.com
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Agis, Derya. September 24 – 25, 2004. METU International Graduate Students Conference, Comparison of the Acquisition of the Italian Clitics by Child L1 Learners and by Adult L2 Learners. Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey.

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Agis, Derya. September 24 – 25, 2004. METU International Graduate Students Conference, Comparison of the Acquisition of the Italian Clitics by Child L1 Learners and by Adult L2 Learners. Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey.

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Agis, Derya. September 24 – 25, 2004. METU International Graduate Students Conference, Comparison of the Acquisition of the Italian Clitics by Child L1 Learners and by Adult L2 Learners. Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey.

  1. 1. Sep 17, 2013 1 ACQUISITION OF THE ITALIAN CLITICS BY CHILD L1 AND ADULT L2 LEARNERS BY: DERYA AGIS ANKARA, TURKEY
  2. 2. Sep 17, 2013 2 OUTLINE • 1. Introduction • 2. What are the Italian Clitics? • 2.a. Italian Object and Accusative Clitics • 2.b. Italian Dative Clitics • 3. Data • 4. Analyses • 5. Results and Discussion • 6. Bibliography
  3. 3. Sep 17, 2013 3 1. INTRODUCTION • Previous study on L1 acquisition has shown that “children learn each noun in combination with an appropriate (gender-marked) article” (Clark 1985: 706), • This is relevant, as clitics have gender, but • Children make errors in number agreement (Clark 1985: 708), • We may encounter the same problem also with the acquisition of the clitics,
  4. 4. Sep 17, 2013 4 Cont’d • It was found out that “the assignment of the subject and object is often dependent on the preceding discourse, on the presence of a clitic pronoun preceding the verb to pick out the object, as in Il libro lo compro io ‘the book it buy I’(The book, I am buying it’); on the contrastive stress, on semantic distinctions that restrict the role of subject to only one of the entities denoted, as in La mela mangia Giovanni ‘the apple eats John’ (=‘John is eating the apple’); on number agreement in the verb; or on person in the verb (with first and second person assigning speaker or addressee as subject)” (Clark 1985: 713)
  5. 5. Sep 17, 2013 5 Cont’d • Moreover, it was also discovered that double clitic constructions with first and second person indirect objects: me and te (me le, te la, etc.) are common in 4- year-old speech (Clark 1985: 715).
  6. 6. Sep 17, 2013 6 PREVIOUS STUDY ON SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION HAS SHOWN THE FOLLOWING: • Most of the L2 learners do not show adequate mastering of cliticization, if their L1 does not have clitic pronouns. • L2 learners do not use clitics in the vast majority of cases, rather they typically use full object NPs, or they omit the object. • In structures containing object clitics, past participle agreement is almost never realized (Lardiere 2000, Prevòst & White 2000).
  7. 7. Sep 17, 2013 7 2. WHAT ARE THE ITALIAN CLITICS? • The clitics are the objectThe clitics are the object pronouns which we call thepronouns which we call the pronominal clitics,pronominal clitics, • They must be accompaniedThey must be accompanied by another functionalby another functional element, “unlike the regularelement, “unlike the regular DPs” (Barrie 2004: 1),DPs” (Barrie 2004: 1),
  8. 8. Sep 17, 2013 8 Cont’d • According to Holmberg (1986,According to Holmberg (1986, 1991) clitics are weak pronouns1991) clitics are weak pronouns (Egerland 2002: 2),(Egerland 2002: 2), • Serianni (1997: 168) mentionsSerianni (1997: 168) mentions the proposal of Klajn (1975) thatthe proposal of Klajn (1975) that the pronouns construct ‘closedthe pronouns construct ‘closed systems’ in relation to asystems’ in relation to a restricted number of elements,restricted number of elements, or relations,or relations, • Clitics are unstressed,Clitics are unstressed, • Here is the list of the ItalianHere is the list of the Italian object and dative clitics:object and dative clitics:
  9. 9. Sep 17, 2013 9 Cont’d MASC. 1ST PERSON DAT. & ACC mi 2ND PERSON ÉÉ.. DAT. & ACC ti 3RD PERSON DAT. gli, ACC. lo 4TH PERSON DAT. & ACC ci 5TH PERSON DAT. & ACC vi 6TH PERSON DAT. loro (gli), ACC. li FEM. DAT. & ACC Mi DAT. & ACC Ti DAT le, ACC. la DAT. & ACC ci DAT. & ACC vi DAT. loro (gli), ACC le
  10. 10. When two clitics combine, the dative clitic must precede the accusative one, or partitive clitic ‘ne’: Sep 17, 2013 10
  11. 11. Sep 17, 2013 11 Position of the clitics: • The clitic can be attached to the auxiliary verb in the first sentence: • (1) Dario lo vuole mangiare • Dario it wants to eat • ‘Dario wants to eat it’ – volere: to want vuole: 3rd person, singular (wants) • or we can also move the clitic to the end of the verb: • (2) Dario vuole mangiarlo • Dario wants to eat - it • ‘Dario wants to eat it’
  12. 12. Sep 17, 2013 12 Position of the Clitics: • Clitics become enclitics, when they are attached to imperatives: • (3a) Di - m - mi • Say to me (Dat) • ‘Say to me’ • (3b)Fa - l - lo • Do it (acc.) • ‘Do it’
  13. 13. Sep 17, 2013 13 Position of the clitics: • Clitics must precede the verb: (4) Lo vedo It I see 1st pers sg present tense ‘I see it’ Clitics must follow the participles and gerunds: (5) Mangiatolo PAST PART IT ‘Having eaten it’ (6) Leggendolo Reading GERUND+IT ‘Reading it’ • But clitics must be used in the following ways with past participles:
  14. 14. Sep 17, 2013 14 Position of the clitics: • In (7b) the clitic ‘li’, in (8b) the clitic ‘la’ adjoin to the inflectional element, and change the endings of the past participles:
  15. 15. Sep 17, 2013 15 Let’s observe: • (7) a. Linda ha letto i libri Linda has read the, masc. pl. books • b. Linda li ha letti Linda CL ACC PL MASC has read
  16. 16. Sep 17, 2013 16 Cont’d • (8) a. Linda ha mangiato la torta Linda has eaten the, fem. sg. cake • b. Linda la ha mangiata • Linda CL ACC SING FEM has eaten
  17. 17. Sep 17, 2013 17
  18. 18. Sep 17, 2013 18 3. MY DATA 1. AIM OF THE STUDY • The aim of the study is to show that the L1 parameters are reset easily, if a language has similar inflectional elements, and to discuss the critical period of second language acquisition, thinking about the case of the L1 acquirers.
  19. 19. Sep 17, 2013 19 2. Hypotheses • Polish are more successful at learning the clitics, • Polish adults make less accusative clitic and past participle agreement errors than the Turkish adults, as in Polish there are feminine and masculine affixes,
  20. 20. Sep 17, 2013 20 Cont’d • The dative clitics are acquired after the accusative clitics by Italian children, and Polish adults, but the opposite is valid for Turkish, • The locative clitics ‘ci’ and ‘vi’ are acquired before all the other clitics by the three types of learners.
  21. 21. Sep 17, 2013 21 NOTE: • As there can be some individual differences among the participants, I skipped the role of gender in language acquisition. • As acculturation is very important in language acquisition, I have chosen students, who have spent at least a month in Italy.
  22. 22. Sep 17, 2013 22 4. DATA • The data were gathered from the monolingual Stefano, a 2 - year- old boy; each recording lasted 45 minutes, • His mom has sent to me his voice recordings since he was 19 months old,
  23. 23. Stefano Sep 17, 2013 23
  24. 24. Sep 17, 2013 24 Cont’d • I chose 10 students (5 intermediate and 5 upper - intermediate level students) of the Italian Culture Institute, Ankara, Turkey, • I also tested 4 Polish students, who were the old students of the Language Center of the University of Milan, Lago di Garda, Italy.
  25. 25. Sep 17, 2013 25 Cont’d • I used a grammaticality judgment test, prepared by myself to test the clitic acquisition of Polish and Turkish adults, • The adults’ proficiency level was determined according to the Proficiency exams of the Italian Culture Institute at Ankara in Turkey and the Language Center of the University of Milan, Lago di Garda, Italy.
  26. 26. Sep 17, 2013 26 PROCEDURE • I observed each sentence of Stefano, and the answers of the adults, • There were totally 60 questions in my test to be completed in 60 minutes. • I constructed two-way tables to test my hypotheses. • I used statistical techniques such as the Chi-Square test.
  27. 27. Sep 17, 2013 27 5. ANALYSES THE COMPARISON OF THE NUMBER OF CLITIC ERRORS BY STEFANO, TURKISH AND POLISH STUDENTS
  28. 28. Sep 17, 2013 28 Cont’d 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 ERRORS RATE OF ERROR Stefano 19mnts Stefano 21 mnts Stefano 2 yrs S INTM TR P E Y Z A.T UPINTM H G T M POL INTM L F POL UPINTM A.P. 3-D Column 17 3-D Column 18 3-D Column 19
  29. 29. Sep 17, 2013 29 Cont’d As the sample size is statistically small for the four groups of Italian as a foreign language learners, the only way out is to combine student scores. Thus, I have labeled 4 groups as A B C D . HERE IS THE TABLE SHOWING THE ERRORS AND THE CORRECT ANSWERS:
  30. 30. Sep 17, 2013 30 Cont’d A B C D Error 94 43 24 15 Correct 206 257 96 105 Total 300 300 120 120 Here are the Chi-Square Results:
  31. 31. Sep 17, 2013 31 Cont’d • Contingency table: A B C D 1 94 43 24 15 176 2 206 257 96 105 664 300 300 120 120 840
  32. 32. Sep 17, 2013 32 Cont’d Expected contingency table: A B C D 1 62.9 62.9 25.1 25.1 2 237. 237. 94.9 94.9 Chi-square= 32.7 Degrees of freedom= 3 Probability=0.000 So proportion of errors for the four groups are not the same.
  33. 33. Sep 17, 2013 33 Is there a difference between Turkish and Polish upper-intermediate level students? Contingency table: A B 1 43 15 58 2 257 105 362 300 120 420
  34. 34. Sep 17, 2013 34 Expected contingency table: A B 1 41.4 16.6 2 259. 103. Chi-square= 0.242 Degrees of freedom= 1 Probability= 0.623 Not much difference
  35. 35. Sep 17, 2013 35 Is there a difference between Turkish and Polish intermediate level students? Data: contingency table A B 1 94 24 118 2 206 96 302 300 120 420
  36. 36. Sep 17, 2013 36 Expected: contingency table A B 1 84.3 33.7 2 216. 86.3 chi-square = 5.45 Degrees of freedom = 1 Probability: 0.020 YES, THERE IS A STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE
  37. 37. Sep 17, 2013 37 5. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION What can be the reasons why Polish can learn the clitics easily? • This is concerned with the resetting of the parameters • Polish word order • Polish cases • The case of Turkish word order • Cognitive reasons
  38. 38. Sep 17, 2013 38 PARAMETERS? • If L2 learners perform similarly to NSs, they must be constrained by UG (White 1993). • Polish word order: 1. The main pattern of affirmative sentences is subject+predicate+object 2. The main pattern of negative sentences is subject+uie+predicate+object 3. An adjective usually precedes a noun
  39. 39. Sep 17, 2013 39 Turkish word order: 1. The main pattern of affirmative sentences is subject (PRO - DROP) + object + verb 2. The main pattern of the negative sentences is subject + object + verb + ‘-MA’ + Conjugation of a tense of a verb. 3. An adjective precedes a noun
  40. 40. Sep 17, 2013 40 L2 problem • In Italian the main pattern of affirmative sentences is subject + object + verb with clitics • But • Subject + verb + object with nouns • The same order is also valid for the main pattern of negative sentences which begin with NON. • The adjective precedes nouns in Italian.
  41. 41. Sep 17, 2013 41 Gender agreement • Just like Italian, in Polish there is gender agreement:
  42. 42. Cont’d Sep 17, 2013 42 Gender singular masc fem neuter endings -y -i -a -e example gruby gruba grube
  43. 43. Sep 17, 2013 43 Declension of nouns nom Dywan carpet Pokoj room gen -u -u dat =owi -owi acc inst -em -em loc -e -u
  44. 44. Sep 17, 2013 44 Cognitive reasons • The existence of fem. and masc. endings makes it easier to learn Italian for Polish • Figure - ground segregation • She gave him the pencil • agent patient
  45. 45. Sep 17, 2013 45 6. BIBLIOGRAPHY • Alexandrova, G. M. (21 – 23 May 1999). “Where derivational time and space meet, clitics have a say”. 8th Annual Workshop on Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics. Pennsylvania
  46. 46. Sep 17, 2013 46 Cont’d • Anderson, S. (April 1994). “How to put your clitics in their Place or why the best account of second- position phenomena may be a nearly optimal one”. GLOW Workshop proceedings, Vienna. • Barrie, M. (2004). Course notes “Syntactic Patterns”. LIN 232, 6-Jan/ 3 May. Belletti, A. (1998). “Agreement Projections.” (To appear in:) In M. Baltin & C. Collins (Eds.). The Handbook of Syntactic Theory, Blackwell. • Clark, E. (1985). “The Acquisition of Romance, with Special Reference to French.” In Dan I. Slobin (Ed.). The Crosslinguistic Study of Language Acquisition, vol. 1.(pp. 688 - 767). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  47. 47. Sep 17, 2013 47 Cont’d • Egerland, V. (2002). “How weak pronouns become clitics: Dative Loro in Old Italian”. LiP, Linguistic in Potsdam Working Papers, 19, pp. 27 - 64. http://ling.uni- potsdam.de/lip/19/LIP19-Egerland.pdf • Lardiere, D. (2000). Mapping features to Forms in Second Language Acquisition. J. Archibald (ed.), Second Language Acquisition and Linguistic Theory. Oxford: Blackwell, pp.102-29.
  48. 48. Sep 17, 2013 48 Cont’d • Prèvost, P. & White, L. (2000). Accounting for morphological variation in second language acquisition: truncation or missing inflection?. M. Friedemann, L. Rizzi (eds.), The Acquisition of Syntax, Longman Linguistic Library, pp. 202-235. • Monachesi, P. (1998). “Decomposing Italian clitics”. In S. Balari & L.Dini (Eds.). Romance in HPSG. Stanford: CSLI, pp. 305 – 357. Torrens. • Serianni, L. (1997). Italiano. Milano: Garzanti. • White, L. (1993). “Universal Grammar and Second Language Acquisition,” The Handbook of Second Language Acquisition
  49. 49. Sep 17, 2013 49 THANK YOU
  50. 50. Sep 17, 2013 50 CONTACT INFO: Deryaagis@yahoo.com

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