ArticlesVol. 3, No. 2 (2003)

Second Language Transfer During Third Language Acquisition

Shirin Murphy

Teachers College, Columbia University


The 2003 Applied Linguistics and Language Education (APPLE) Award Winning Ed.D. (5500) Research Paper in TESOL
A recent focus in the study of cross-linguistic influence is the role of transfer during third language acquisition. How do the learner’s first and second languages influence the acquisition of a third language? Current research suggests that the multilingual dynamic differs from L1 effects during second language acquisition. This literature review will examine L2 transfer during third language acquisition within the general context of cross-linguistic influence. An overview of the study of language transfer will be presented, followed by a discussion of the variables that operate and interact when two or more languages come into contact. The variables are categorized as learner-based or language-based, and each is discussed in the contexts of L2 and L3 acquisition. A particular area of focus will be hybrid lexical forms and the unintentional intrusion of L2 items during L3 production.