Who agrees on the use of English adverbials? Preliminary findings from L1 and L2 users
Ehrensberger-Dow, Maureen (2005). Who agrees on the use of English adverbials? Preliminary findings from L1 and L2 users: Conference paper. In: Presented at VALS/ASLA-Tagung Sprachmittlung, 16. September 2005. Winterthur: .;
In a multilingual country like Switzerland, where English has almost become a lingua franca, it is hardly surprising that patterns more closely associated with the language of the region (in our case, German) have emerged in the English used here. A structure that might sound fine when back-translated into German may be highly marked, if not unacceptable in English. Native speakers living outside of their language communities are probably also influenced by exposure to the English around them and may begin to accept and even produce non-standard structures. In the translation process, when decisions have to be made between competing language systems, such subtle differences may not be apparent. To test whether the English intuitions of our translation students correspond to those of native speakers and to assess agreement among native speakers, we asked L1 and L2 users in Switzerland and abroad to judge the acceptability of sentences containing structures (adverbials) that have proven problematic in the written English of Swiss students. The results have interesting implications for translation into L2, fossilization in L2 acquisition, and for pre-service and continuing education of translators.