Att tänka för att tala om rörelse på franska : en kontrastiv studie i hur svenska franskstudenter uttrycker spatial rörelse

Author

Summary, in English

It is well known within typological linguistics that the expression of motion is language-specific. In Swedish the manner of a motion is typically expressed in a verb while the path of motion is expressed in a satellite connected to the verb (S- languages), whereas, in French, typically the path of motion is expressed in the verb and the manner is omitted. This explains why speakers of Swedish seem to prefer en uggla kommer flygande ut genom hålet ('an owl is flying out of the hole') in a given situation, while speakers of French typically say d’un trou de l’arbre sort un hibou ('out of a hole in a tree an owl exits'). As language and cognition are interrelated, this raises the question to what extent one has to think in diffrent ways in order to talk about motion in Swedish and French respectively. Influenced by theories of linguistic relativity, Slobin (1996) develops a framework about thinking for speaking, which implies that the way a speaker has to think in order to form an utterance is language-specific. This poses a potential problem in second language acquisition. The aim of this study is to examine how learners of French in Sweden manage the differences in motion typology between Swedish and French. Furthermore, the study aims to examine if and how a bilingual task has an impact on the French linguistic product. The study was based on a spoken corpus in which 19 Swedish learners of French told a story through elicitation by means of pictures. The subjects were divided into two groups: one group telling a story in French only (A-fr), and the other group telling the story in Swedish (A-fr) and French (B-fr). The corpus was transcribed and analyzed with regard to conflation patterns (how motion semantics map onto the morphosyntactics of the verb phrase) and manner salience (how salient the manner of motion is in an utterance). The results confirm the known typological divergences between French as a V-language and Swedish as an S- language. It was also shown that the motion expressions of the group performing a bilingual task (B-fr) exhibited greater similarities to that of the target language than the group performinga a monolingual task (A-fr). This suggests that the bilingual task engendered greater metalinguistic awareness.

Topic

  • Languages and Literatures

Keywords

  • rörelsetypologi
  • rörelsesituation
  • V-språk
  • S-språk
  • manner salience
  • conflation pattern
  • franska
  • tvåspråkighet
  • psykolingvistik
  • spårkinlärning
  • motion typology
  • motion event
  • V-language
  • S-language
  • French
  • bilinguism
  • psycholinguistics
  • language acquisition

Supervisor

  • Sven Strömqvist