Acquisition of Genitive Case by Bilingual Guilaki-Persian English Learners

Maryam Tahvildary Biderooni, Ali Akbar Jabbari, Yasaman Nasiriani


The present study focuses on recognition and production of the English genitive cases with similar structure in Guilaki (i.e., possessive determiners and possessive relations) or Persian (i.e., non-possessive relations) at initial state of EFL acquisition. In this regard, the researcher selected the most proficient Guilaki and Persian speakers-beginner EFL learners who were comparably aware of the structures under study to establish L3 and L2 groups. Both groups equally comprised 30 female third-grade junior high school English learners. The statistical analyses on GJT and Translation tests of the L3 group suggested different levels of cross-linguistic influence, and hence partially supporting FT/FA hypothesis, L2 transfer hypothesis or CEM for each form of genitive case. Moreover, the findings indicated a possible association between the L3 group’s poor performance and their incomplete L1 acquisition due to the intense contact with the majority language (i.e., Persian as L2). Consequently, EFL teaching through learners’ language background can improve their English and preserve their background languages.

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