The Acquisition of French (L3) Coda Consonant Clusters by English (L2) Learners Speakers of Persian (L1): An Optimality Account

  •  Fatemeh Dadbakhsh    
  •  Ali Jabbari    


The present study presents an Optimality Theoretic account of syllable codas in French by the learners whose first and second languages are Persian and English respectively. Additionally, it investigates transfer at the L3 initial state, testing between the three hypotheses of Full Transfer/ Full Access (Schwartz & Sprouse, as cited in Özçelik, 2009) i.e., the main L1 transfer effect, L2 Status Factor (Bardel & Falk, 2007, 2011) i.e., the main L2 transfer effect, and Cumulative Enhancement Model (Flynn et al., 2004) i.e., all previously known languages’ positive or neutral transfer effect. As a matter of fact, OT is also used to see whether it supports what is obtained through transfer effects or not. To do so, two groups of Persian native speakers, but with differing English proficiencies (lower-intermediate and upper-intermediate) that were at the initial state of acquiring L3 French were asked to complete two tests, namely oral judgment test and production test. The analysis of the data was done through the mixed between-within subjects ANOVA. Results of the transfer effect provided a major role for the “L2 status factor”, while casting doubt on the tenability of several aspects of the CEM and provided no support for the FT/FA hypothesis. Regarding OT, the following constraint hierarchies were obtained for OJT and PT respectively: MAX-IO>> DEP-IO>>COMPLEX>> INDENT-IO and DEP-IO>> MAX-IO>> INDENT-IO>> COMPLEX. In fact, these rankings, especially the latter one, advocated the L2 constraint hierarchy and this was in accordance with the results of cross-linguistic effect, providing a major role for the L2 status factor.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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