When does the inference fail?

My mother beats the lawn - interference errors in collocations of Danish GFL learners with special attention to the first foreign language English

Gasselich, Margit (2015) My mother beats the lawn - interference errors in collocations of Danish DaF learners with special attention to the first foreign language English.
Master thesis, University of Vienna. Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies
Supervisor: Boeckmann, Klaus-Börge

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Abstract in German

Research into the collocation competence of learners has shown that interference from the L1 is one of the most significant sources of errors in collocation. The resulting requirement to choose the collocations to be taught depending on their equivalence in L1 and L2 is called into question by the results of the present study. In order to answer the question whether in collocations not only interference errors from the L1 but also from the L2 of the learners, the English, are to be found, the interference errors in verb-object collocations of 27 Danish GFL learners were researched. For this purpose, the learners were asked to translate twelve collocations from Danish into German and to assess the acceptability of seven further collocations and to correct them if necessary. The proportion of interference errors from English in all errors in the translations was over 17%, which is far higher than previously assumed. It is therefore recommended to include English more explicitly in GFL lessons in Denmark in order to make it easier for learners to acquire collocations in L3.

Keywords in German

Collocations / collocation competence / German / as / foreign / and / second language / transfer / interference / interference errors / L1 / L2 / L3 / tertiary language acquisition / horseshoe / factor model / error analysis / Danish / English

Abstract in English

Research on learners ’collocational competence has found L1 influence to be one of the main sources of collocation errors. Consequently, it has been argued that congruence in L1 and L2 ought to be the most important factor in the selection of collocations for teaching. However, this view is challenged by the findings of this study, which investigated interlingual errors in verb-object-collocations of 27 advanced Danish-speaking learners of German in order to answer the question if collocation errors are not only induced by L1, but also by the learners' L2, English. To this effect, the learners were asked to translate twelve collocations from Danish into German, as well as to judge the acceptability of seven other collocations and, where required, to correct them. With more than 17% of collocation errors in the translations induced by English, L2 influence on inappropriate collocations has turned out to be far greater than previously thought. It is, therefore, argued that English ought to be more expressly incorporated into the teaching of German collocations in Denmark.

Keywords in English

collocations / collocational / competence / German / as / a / Foreign / and / Second / Language / transfer / interference / interlingual / errors / L1 / L2 / L3 / third / language / acquisition / Hufeisen / factor / model / error / analysis / Danish / English

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