This study discusses teaching Malagasy as a second language. Malagasy is the native language spoken on the island of Madagascar. Traditionally, Malagasy has been taught as a language that is similar to English in the way that it uses active and passive voice constructions. However, most native-English students struggle to produce native-like utterances using non-active voice constructions in Malagasy. Recent studies have suggested that Malagasy more closely relates to Germanic V2 languages than it does to English (Pearson 2005, Hyams et al. 2006). This might explain why students taught Malagasy as an English-like language struggle. This study compares the relative effectiveness of teaching Malgasy as a V2 language with topicalized triggers, as opposed to traditional approaches, where the trigger is seen as an English-like subject. The study is based on data gathered from two groups of beginning Malagasy students at the LDS Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. One group was taught according to traditional methods. The other was taught the topic/voicing theory set forth by Pearson (2005). There was a general trend of improvement from the traditionally taught group to the group taught topicalization.
College and Department
Humanities; Linguistics and English Language
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Workman, Jeremy D., "Topicalization in Malagasy: Effects of Teaching Malagasy as a Topic Language" (2009). Theses and Dissertations. 2036.
linguistics, language, language acquisition, Malagasy, topicalization, second language, topic language, Austronesian