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Language Transfer I n Language Learn I ng and Language Contact ( Arabsk I , 2006). Emrah GÜLTEKİN Fethiye ERBİL Elif MET Burcu ÜVER H. Esra ŞİMŞEK. Language Transfer. What do you think is language transfer?. IN LANG UAGE LEARNING SITUATION : The behaviorist approach?

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language transfer i n language learn i ng and language contact arabsk i 2006

Language Transfer In Language LearnIng and Language Contact(ArabskI, 2006)


Fethiye ERBİL

Elif MET

Burcu ÜVER


language transfer
Language Transfer
  • What do you think is language transfer?


The behaviorist approach?

Transfer is a process described as the automatic uncontrolledand subconscious use of past learner behaviors in the attempt to produce new responses. In this sense, transfer may be of two types:

negative and positive.

langage transfer behaviorist approach
Langage Transfer – Behaviorist Approach

negative transfer?


Incorrect because old, habitual behaviour is different from new behaviour.

Correct because new and old behaviour is the same.

positive transfer(facilitation)?


language transfer1
Language Transfer

in which different language systems are put into contact with each other

1- Language contact (LC)

2- Dialect contact (DC)

3- Foreign Language Learning (LL)

language situations
Language Situations
  • Foreign Language Learning (LL):

Two different languages are put in contact with each other when the two systems are entirely different.

  • Turkish - English
language situations1
Language Situations
  • Language contact (LC):

Not only represents the contact of languages but the contact of cultures.

  • Spanish - Italian
language situations2
Language Situations
  • Dialect contact (DC):

Different dialects of the same language system.

  • American English – British English
discussion point
Discussion Point:

In these three situations (LC, LL, DC):

  • How language transfer functions?
  • In what intensity language transfer functions?

*How these three types of contact differ from each other?

the intensity of language transfer
The Intensity of Language Transfer
  • Depends on the type of Language Contact:
  • The genetical distance between L1 and L2 is important:

If they are genetically closer, language transfer occurs more (Arabski,2006).

Ex: More transfer between Polish and Russian (both positive and negative) than Polish and English

  • Fethiye’s experience (Italian, Spanish, Turkish)
the intensity of language transfer1
The Intensity of Language Transfer

intensity of transer

  • Also depends on the stage of interlanguage development

the proficiency of the learner

language transfer2
Language Transfer

Two other factors are effective on language transfer:

  • Age of learners:

Less frequent among children whose L1 system is not yet strong enough

  • Markedness /unmarkedness of structures:

Marked structures are not transferred (cf Kellerman, 1983)

ex: it is raining cats and dogs (kediler köpekler yağıyor)*

bardaktan boşanırcasına yağmur yağıyor


Have you had any difficulties concerning English sound system?

  • L2 is simplified under the influence of L1.
  • Polish “w” has many English counterparts:

in March – w Marcu in March

on Sunday – w niedzlele *in Sunday

at home – w domu *in home

As a result, “w” is selected to simplify the English system- it is used instead many other counterparts resulting in interlanguage forms.

We have 

Three vs tree

bad vs bed

law, cow...


To what extent do you think culture has influence over lexical transfer?

  • According to Arabski (2006), it is the culture which is transferred, language structures are being part of it.

The new lexical items are needed because of:

  • New political and economic situations
  • Technological developments
  • New styles of life

Any examples???

The character of the loans reflect the character of cultural contact in:

Politics: French

Literature: Persian

Lifestyle: Arabic

language transfer3
Language Transfer
  • However, in the case of polish – English, the word order is sometimes affected as well.

The Polish allows to use adjectives both before and after the noun,after thenoun being more frequent.

Debowy las – las debowy (oakwood) the same meaning

But after the influence of English, using adjectives before nouns becomes more frequent.

Pan mtody(groom) vs. mtody pan(young gentlemen) meaning changes

The influence of L2 does not go much beyond lexis.

Do you agree?

Can you give any examples?

  • Accomodation theory focuses on speech.

It discusses and attempts to explain why speakers modify their language in the presence of others and to the extend that they do.

  • In the context of dialect contact, the process is the acquisition of the salient features of the target dialect.

ex: Çekirdek-çiğdem,


ex: sweater – pullover,

toilet - lavatory

resistance to foreign influence in language contact
Resistance to Foreign Influence in Language Contact
  • In the case of Polish-English contact, the lexical contact is the most obvious. However, phonology is the most resistant one.

D: Phonology

C: Morphology

B: Syntax

A: Pragmatics





why do we transfer
Why do we transfer?
  • We borrow foreign words or accommodate other dialect forms, because L2 happens to be inadequate for us to express ourselves.

We have difficulty in:

  • Communicating in a foreign language (LL)
  • Naming newproducts,institutions,etc. (LC)
  • Sounding like another dialect speaker (DC)

Language Learning, Language Contact and Dialect Contact

  • The only real language contact situation is the LL(language learning) situation.
  • LC (language contact) situation differs because it represents not the contact of language systems, but the contact of cultures.
  • DC (dialect contact) serves to provide identification with different dialect speakers. Borrowing happens when there is a need for communication.

Domains of Social Psychology of Language

  • Motivation: the force to identify with target culture and dialect
  • Idenfication: determining different cultures and dialects
  • Communication: as a kind of integrative motivation
  • Selection: Not every L2 structure is acquired. The structures which are salient or necessary are acquired, borrowed or accommodated in order.





LL (Foreign Language Learning)

LC (Language Contact)

DC (Dialect Contact)

as a conclusion
As a conclusion...
  • Note that what we have dissucced is from the point of linguistics.
  • LL, LC and DC have many features in common.

These features appear with different intensity in the three three types of language contacts. Their priorities are also different from each type of language contact.