Cross-linguistic Influence in Third Language Acquisition: Factors Influencing Interlanguage Transfer

Tammy Wang

Abstract


In the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA), the role of transfer has been theorized and studied to account for the influence of the native language on an interlanguage. However, stemming from behaviorist mentality, the concept of transfer has become widely associated with the direct transfer of habits and fails to take into consideration other cross-linguistic influences (CLI) that shape or are shaped by the interlanguage, such as avoidance, ‘reverse transfer’ from a learner’s second language (L2) to native language (L1), perception of linguistic distance, and interlanguage transfer. Thus, the reductionist analysis of direct L1 to L2 transfer is no longer sufficient to account for the parallel activation of languages in multilinguals.

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