Word-formation preferences of non-natives

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This paper presents the preliminary results of a study of the word-formation
preferences in their second/foreign languages of non-native speakers. The study
attempts to bring together linguistic typology and second language acquisition.
Several pairs of native – non-native languages, for example Danish (NL) – German
(NNL), Slovene (NL) – English (NNL), were tested. The informants are university
students of the respective foreign languages. It was investigated which
word-formation processes (premodification, postmodification, or combinations
hereof) are preferred by the informants by measuring which word-formation
processes come to the informants’ minds first when asked to produce new words from certain keywords. The preferences of word-formation processes were correlated both with the informants’ native languages and the target language. The purpose of the correlation was to examine whether the word-formation choices of the informants are influenced more by the typological nature of their mother tongues or by the typological nature of the target languages. The differences between the informant groups could not be attributed to their mother tongues unequivocally. Instead, general intergroup tendencies were found with respect to preferences in word formation.
Translated title of the contributionIkke-indfødtes præferencer vedr. orddannelse
Original languageEnglish
JournalSKASE. Journal of Theoretical Linguistics
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)162-176
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019
EventWord-Formation Theories III - Typology and Universals in Word-Formation IV - Pavol Safarik University, Kosice, Slovakia
Duration: 27 Jun 201830 Jun 2018
Conference number: 3, 4


ConferenceWord-Formation Theories III - Typology and Universals in Word-Formation IV
Number3, 4
LocationPavol Safarik University


  • word formation
  • cross-linguistic influence
  • second language acquisition
  • linguistic typology
  • statistical analysis

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