Nog är ju viktigt : The role of modal particles nog and ju in responsibility attribution in L1 and L2 speakers

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Centrum för tvåspråkighetsforskning

Abstract: The present study investigates whether advanced adult L2 speakers comprehend the subtle linguistic cues that modal particles entail and seek to find if modal particles affect them in their responsibility attribution. Two groups of advanced L2 speakers of Swedish were tested; one group of L1 German speakers and one group of L1 English speakers. In an experiment that investigated responsibility attribution, participants read short stories that were manipulated with the modal particles nog and ju, to see if the use of these modal particles affected how they attributed  responsibility to a character in the short story. The L2 learners were tested to see if L1 background affects the L2 acquisition of modal particles. A control group of native Swedish speakers were also tested. As an exploratory and complementary measure, reading times were recorded for the critical sentences modified with ju and nog. The results show a main effect of group and a main effect of condition, but no interaction between the two. However, upon closer inspections of the numerical values in the groups, possible trends and curious directions are seen. The results yielded no significant differences between groups and conditions, and are presented as possible trends, and discussed. Contrary to the hypotheses, these trends are indicative of the English speakers being affected by the modal particles in the way that natives were expected to, while Germans showed a pattern that was different from native speakers. The results show no significant differences for the different conditions in the native control group. The results show no support for L1 transfer facilitation in the acquisition of modal particles.

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