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Year-Number: 2016-11
Language : null
Konu : Lingusitics
Number of pages: 71-86
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Öğreniciler dil ediniminde farklılıklar gösterse de, bütün diller karışık ve basit olarak kabul edilen belli dilbilimsel formlara sahiptir. Belirtme edatı edinimi bu bağlamda karmaşık olarak değerlendirilebilir. İleri düzeyde dili kullanan öğreniciler dahi, doğru belirtme edatı kullanımını tam olarak başaramamaktadır. Ana dilinde belirtme edatı kullanımı ile tanışmamış olan öğrenciler için bu edat ya da edatların edinimi konusu çok daha karmaşık olabilmektedir. Bu çalışma Türkçe tek dilli ve Türkçe / Kürtçe çift dilli öğrenicilerin belirtme edatı kullanımını biri boşluk doldurma, diğeri ise yazılı olmak üzere iki farklı çalışma ile incelemektedir. Türkçe’nin belirtme edatı kullanımı olmayan, Kürtçe’nin ise bu edata sahip bir dil olduğu göz önüne alarak, çalışma Türkçe tek dilli ve Türkçe/ Kürtçe çift dilli öğrencilerin İngilizce belirtme edatı ediniminde herhangi bir farklılık gösterip göstermediklerini incelemeyi amaçlamaktadır. Çalışma ayrıca ikinci ve üçüncü dili edinen öğrenicilerin İngilizce belirtme edatı seçiminde üstdil işlevini incelemektedir. Niteliksel veri olası açıklamalar ve örneklerle sunulmaktadır.



Though learners differ in acquisition, all languages have some certain linguistic forms that are accepted as complex and simple. Articles might be regarded as complex to understand as even advanced learners may have trouble in correct use of articles. The complexity is possibly higher for learners who have an article-less (henceforth –ART) native language background. This study investigates the use of articles by Turkish monolinguals and Turkish/ Kurdish bilinguals in two different tasks; a fill-in-article task and written- narrative task. Turkish is a (-ART) language while Kurdish is a (+ART) language, so the aim of the study is to examine if there is any variance between Turkish monolinguals (-ART) and Turkish/ Kurdish bilinguals (+ ART) in article use of English (+ART). The findings revealed the superior performance of bilinguals (+ ART) over monolinguals (-ART). The paper also questioned the metalinguistic knowledge of L2 and L3 learners on choice of article in English. The qualitative data was presented with possible explanations and interpretations.


  • Ekiert ( 2005) conducted a study with a group of ten adult Polish learners of ESL, tenPolish learners of EFL and a control group. The study aimed to investigate in what orderdo adult L2 learners who are speakers of (-ART) language acquire the English articlesystem. The results of the study indicated that likewise previous studies on the naturalorder of L1 acquisition (Cziko, 1986; Zehler & Brewer, 1982; as cited in Ekiert , 2005, p.17), this study confirmed the dominance of ‘a’ article at early stages of L2 learners whose native language lack articles.

  • Another study was conducted by Ionin, Zubizarreta & Maldorada (2008). The studyexamined three sources of knowledge in the acquisition of English articles; L1 transfer,L2-input and UG. The results of the study confirmed the results of Ionin’s( 2003) studyand Russian speakers were less accurate than Spanish speakers in the article use despite having higher proficiency in L2.

  • Leung (2005) conducted a comparative study with eight groups of participants. Thestudy’s aim is to demonstrate that L3 acquisition is not different form L2 acquisition.Four groups of participants were employed; an L3 French experimental group (L1Chinese-L2 English); an L2 French experimental group (L1 Vietnamese, with no Englishbackground) and two native control groups (L1 French and L1 English, respectively). Fivetasks were conducted in total. The results of the study indicated that when L2 and L3French is concerned, both definite and indefinite correct article use were significantly higher for the L3 group.

  • The present study also analysed metalinguistic knowledge of participants. As such, astudy conducted by Butler (2002) provided background information on L2 learners’metalinguistic knowledge regarding to use of articles. Japanese learners were chosen onpurpose as it lacks article system. In general, the study results showed that learner didnot make their choices randomly, but their explanations were based on a systematicy.

  • Hypotheses; 1) Based on previous studies (ex: Ekiert, 2005; Thomas, 1986), omission ofarticles or overgeneralization of zero articles are expected to be more frequent in bothgroups of learners. 2) Kurdish speakers of English learners are expected to outperformTurkish speakers of English learners in terms of accurate use of articles. The hypothesisis based on L1 positive transfer within the theory of contrastive analysis. 3) Based onprevious studies (ex; Kharma, 1981; Mizuna, 1985), participants are expected tomake more mistakes in fill-in-article test than written-narrative task which is based on production.

  • Participants were given a cloze text with thirty seven (37) sentences that was adaptedfrom Ekiert (2007) and Butler (2002), Gleason (2002) and Master (1994) (as cited inEkiert, 2007). The instrument has 55 omitted articles that learners are expected to insertone. All five article usage types (type 1, type 2, type 3, type 4 and type 5), that wereadapted from Butler (2002), Huebner (1985) and Thomas (1989), were included and theinstrument had 11 for each type. (See Appendix 2).To answer second research questionrelating to the metalinguistic knowledge, section II of the instrument included seven (7)sentences with correct and incorrect articles. Students were asked to decide whether the use of article is correct and give an explanation about why it is correct or incorrect.

  • In general, consistent with previous studies (Ionin, et al., 2008) the results of this studyindicated that L3 learners with both an (-ART) and (+ART) in their native languagebackground performed better than L2 learners with an article-less native language. Asthe study did not have a native group, it is not possible to say whether it is a full orpartial transfer; however, the results revealed that L3 learner do not behave similar to L2 learners (

  • The results of post-test revealed the overall superior performance of Kurdish/ Turkishbilinguals over Turkish monolinguals in terms of accurate use of articles in EFL. In eachtype of articles, Turkish/ Kurdish bilinguals outperformed. The most outstandingdifference was observed in type 1 (generics) and type 2 (referential definite). The resultsabout generics contradict with Thomas (1989) hypothesis, which claims generics is themost difficult type of article to acquire. Generics differ in Turkish and English (see 5a and5b), that is Turkish speaker of L2 learners might have a tendency to omit article ‘the’ oruse ‘the’ in singular form (see Table 4, type 2 ). In Turkish there is no generic reference togeneric with a definite article in plural form. In Kurmanji, generic sentences do notinclude definite article, as well. However, Kurmanji employs (-ART) singular form of thenoun to refer generics likewise English (see example Table 4, type 1). That is, it is possibleto mention a positive transfer from Kurdish language background for bilingual group ofparticipants. The results for Type 2 might have been explained by positive transfer, as well (

  • =53, 81; 72, 72, p<, 05). As such, Kurdish language has an article system thatspecify the definiteness of nouns likewise “the”. These results are consistent with Leung (2008) that indicated a general tendency to transfer L2 than a L1 in L3 acquisition.

  • The written data suggested that Turkish native speakers of L2 learners had moreomission of definite and indefinite articles when compared to bilingual participant group.These results are consistent with Çabuk (2011). The written data confirmed the results offill-in task in terms of superior effect of L2 on L3 more than L1. As, having an (+ART)native language in their linguistic background bilingual participants made less mistakesin terms of omission. Whereas, omission mistakes outweighted among overall mistakes.Participants showed a tendency to omit articles; it may be because of the tendency toavoid using the articles with the fear of making mistakes. On the other hand, both groupsdid not make any mistakes in overuse of indefinite article as it was discussed before, learners showed a tendency to omit articles rather than overusing.

  • Atay, Z. (2010). Second language acquisition of the English article system by Turkishlearners: The role of semantic notions. (Master’s Thesis). Avaliable through ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database.

  • Çabuk, S. ( 2011). English article system: Possible challenges for L1-Turkish Learners. International Journal of Arts & Sciences, 4(10), 107-129.

  • Dikilitaş, K.& Altay, M. ( 2011). Acquisition sequence of four categories of non-generic useof the English definite article the by Turkish speakers. Novitas Royal, 5(2), 183- 198.

  • Ekiert, M. ( 2007). Acquisition of the English article system by speakers of Polish in ESLand EFL settings. Teachers College, Columbia University Working Papers in TESOL, 4(1), 1-23.

  • Ellis, R. (2003). Second Language Acquisition (Eds.), Psycholinguistic aspects of interlanguage (pp. 51-52). New York: Oxford Press.

  • Goto Butler, Y. (2002). Second language learners’ theories on the use of English article:An analysis of metalinguistic knowledge used by Japanese students in acquiringthe English article system. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 24, 451-480.

  • Haig, G. ( 1998). On the interaction of morphological and syntactic ergativity: Lessons from Kurdish. Lingua 105, 149-173.

  • Heidrick, I. (2006). How is transfer affected by multilingualism? TESOL & Applied Linguistics, 6(1), 1-3.

  • Huebner, T. (1993). A longitudinal analysis of the acquisition of English. Ann Arbor Michigan: Karoma Press.

  • Ionin, T., Baek, S., Kim, E.,Ko, H & Wexler, K. ( 2012). That’s not so different from the:

  • Ionin, T,Ko,H. & Wexler, K. (2003). Specificity as a grammatical notion: evidence from L2- English article use. WCCFL 22 Proceedings, 245-258.

  • Ionin,T.,Zubizaretta, M.L., & Maldonado,S.M. (2008). Sources of linguistics knowledge in the Second language acquisition of English articles. Lingua, 118, 554-558.

  • Leung, Y-k.I. (2005). L2 vs L3 initial stage:A comparative study of the acquisition of

  • Leung, Y-k.I. ( 2007). Second language (L2) English and third language (L3) French article

  • Master, P. (1994). The effect of systematic instruction on learning the English article system. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

  • Master, P. (2002). Information structure and English article pedagogy. System, 30, 331- 348.

  • Mitchell, R. & Myles, F. (2004). Second Language Learning Theories (2nd Eds.), The Universal Grammar Approach (pp: 84-87). New York: Oxford Press.

  • Robertson, D. (2000). Variability in the use of the English article system by Chinese learners of English. Second Language Research, 16(2), 135-172.

  • Snape, N., Garcio-Mario, N. P. & Gürel, A. (2012). L1 transfer in article selection for generic reference by Spanish, Turkish and Japanese L2 learners. International

  • Thomas, M. ( 1989). The acquisition of English articles by first and second language learners. Applied Psycholinguistics, 10, 335-355.

  • White, B. ( 2009). Accounting for L2-English learners’ article choices. MSU Working Papers in SLS, 1(1), 14-36.

  • Wong, B-E. & Quek, S-T. ( 2007). Acquisition of the English definite article by Chineseand Malay ESL learners. Electronic J. of Foreign Language Teaching, 4(2), 210-234. APPENDIX 1. LANGUAGE BACKGROUND QUESTIONNAIRE

  • 5. In ____1960s, there were lots of protests against ____Vietnam War. 6. ____Cat likes____ mice.

  • Article Statistics