- The Advanced Learner Variety: The Case of French
In recent years, various publications have provided in-depth analyses of research evidence illustrating how beginner and intermediate learners of second languages (L2) structure and restructure their interlanguage knowledge as they become more competent users of the target language (e.g., for the development of tense/aspect-mood in various L2s, see Bardovi-Harlig, 2000; for the development of various forms in French L2, see Lyster, 2007).With respect to advanced L2 learners, however, finetuned analyses of learner language are needed to examine particular and universal aspects of their interlanguage systems. [End Page 469]
In Emmanuelle Labeau and Florence Myles’ new edited book, The Advanced Learner Variety: The Case of French, 11 contributors provide a comprehensive description of the interlanguage systems of advanced learners of French, analysing not only morphosyntax but also lexis, phraseology, and discourse and pragmatics. In the first part of the book, the contributors examine the morphosyntax of the advanced learner. In chapter 1, Bartning revisits the oral acquisitional continuum of Swedish learners of French, focusing on the last three developmental stages in the continuum: the advanced-low, the advanced-medium, and the advanced-high stages. In chapter 2, Housen, Kemps, and Pierrard explore the extent to which these three stages also characterize the interlanguage system of advanced L2 learners from different first languages (L1s). In chapter 3, Labeau focuses on the advanced acquisition of the functional values of the imperfective. In chapter 4, Howard explores the short- and long-term effects of L2 naturalistic exposure on the development of morphosyntax among advanced instructed L2 learners. In chapter 5, Monville-Burston and Kakoyianni-Doa examine language transfer effects on the acquisition of relative clauses among advanced Greek-speaking Cypriot learners of French. To close the first part, in the domain of written interlanguage, Ågren analyzes morphological number marking and agreement in nominal and verbal phrases in the production of advanced L2 writers of French.
Fosberg opens the second part of the book, devoted to lexis and formulaic sequences, by discussing the importance of examining formulaic sequences in the interlanguage of advanced learners. She examines the differential use of formulaic sequences among advanced and very advanced learners of French and French native speakers. Bolly then describes how the interlanguage representations of advanced learners of French lead to a differential use, between French L1 and L2 speakers, of phraseological units with two high-frequency verbs: prendre and donner.
The third part of the book focuses on the analyses of interlanguage aspects of the discourse and pragmatics of advanced learners of French. Based on case studies, Klingler explores the principles that govern the syntactic and discourse complexity of the French L2 and Japanese L1 texts of three advanced L2 learners. Further, the author also explores the factors that may contribute to the syntactic and discourse interlanguage representations of Japanese learners of French. In the last chapter of this section, Tyne examines the interlanguage stylistic variation in three types of oral discourse of less and more advanced learners of French. [End Page 470]
In the last part of the book, Leclercq closes the description of the interlanguage systems of L2 learners by examining the manner in which language transfer influences the expression of simultaneity in the discourse of near-native French learners of English.
Throughout the book, the authors contribute to the field of second language acquisition providing detailed accounts of the interlanguage systems of (young) adult advanced learners of French. Although several chapters focus on the morphosyntactic elements of the interlanguage of advanced learners, the editors make a major contribution to the second language acquisition field by including chapters on lexical and pragmatic features of learner language. The richness and variety of learner language corpora exhibited throughout constitute one of the strengths of the book, as the corpora include oral and written production of L2 learners from diverse L1 profiles in instructed and naturalistic language learning contexts. Moreover, the wide array of learner language elicitation techniques used to build the corpora and the various...