Article published in:Writing Assessment in Higher Education
Edited by Bert Weltens, Jos Hornikx, Wander Lowie, Petra Poelmans and Rebecca L. Present-Thomas
[Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics 2:1] 2013
► pp. 92–107
Information Structure: The final hurdle?
The development of syntactic structures in (very) advanced Dutch EFL writing
Although texts produced by (very) advanced Dutch learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) may be perfectly grammatical, they often feel distinctly non-native. Dutch, as a verb-second language, makes separate positions available for discourse linking and aboutness-topics. Although the English sentences of these advanced learners conform to the subject-verb-object order of English, the pre-subject adverbial position in English is made to perform the information-structural function of the verb-second discourse-linking position, producing texts that are perceived as non-native, without being ungrammatical. A side-effect of this L1 interference is the underuse of special focusing constructions in English, like the stressed-focus it-cleft. This paper investigates the progress of Dutch writers towards a more native-like use of the pre-subject position and the it-cleft in a longitudinal corpus of 137 writings of Dutch university students of English. We conclude that information-structural differences present the final hurdle for advanced Dutch EFL writers.
Keywords: information structure (IS), L1 interference, syntax, progress, writing, English, Dutch, foreign language learning (EFL)
Published online: 06 May 2013
Cited by 7 other publications
Lozano, Cristóbal & Marcus Callies
van Hilten, Myrte & Sanne van Vuuren
Van Vuuren, Sanne & Janine Berns
van Vuuren, Sanne & Rina de Vries
van Vuuren, Sanne & Lyuben Laskin
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 31 january 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.