Grammar Errors in Acquiring Russian As a First and a Second Language
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Introduction It is intriguing how young children acquiring their native language can often master things that are beyond the power of people learning the very same language as adults.Thus, for instance, it is usually quite difficult for learners of Russian as a second language to master the cases of nouns or aspects of the verb. Yet Russian babies acquire those categories with no special trouble. I select these categories, the noun cases and verbal aspects, as mastered by Russian babies and foreign speakers, for the purposes of this presentation. By analyzing the errors made by these groups of learners I intend to get to their cause and to see if the strategies of mastering Russian morphology are the same in acquiring Russian as the native language or as the second language.Aim of the study - to compare grammar errors in the speech of children acquiring Russian as the first language and in the speech of Azerbaijani speakers acquiring Russian as the second language.Materials and methods - the data I have collected consist of the samples from spontaneous speech or narratives from 10 Russian children aged 2 to 4 and two groups of Azerbaijani speakers, children aged 6 to 9, and adults.Results and conclusions In language learning, should it be the first or the second language, mastering of the morphological categories requires linking the form and the content, the so-called form-functional mapping. A native speaking child finds the process easier due to a number of factors: (1) the language input is specific and aimed at the child's level of understanding; (2) the situations described by the statements are simple and observable; (3) as the language system is forming parallel to the cognitive one, knowledge of the world around goes hand in hand with mastering of the language units and categories, and the situation is ideal for establishing a strong tie between the form and the function.
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