One major topic that often appears in textbooks on second language acquisition (SLA) is that of order of acquisition of morphemes. Much research has been done on the issue in the past, and a particular acquisition order has been accepted by many in the field of SLA for second language learners of English. This order of morphemes is deemed invariant and not affected by the native language of the learner. This thesis examines this claim, using an elicited imitation test to target nine English morphemes. The results show that a learner's native language does indeed have an effect on the order of acquisition of morphemes; however, only a few limited claims can be made regarding this order (for example, Japanese and Korean seem to acquire the auxiliary morpheme earlier than in other languages). Previous research is examined in light of the differences between this and other studies, with a specific focus on methodological issues which could have a significant impact on both results and interpretation of results in studies related to order of acquisition of morphemes.
College and Department
Humanities; Linguistics and English Language
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Aitken, Meghan Elizabeth, "A Study of First Language Background and Second Language Order of Acquisition" (2011). Theses and Dissertations. 2674.
Morphology, Second Language Acquisition, English Language, Native Language, Transfer, Elicited Imitation