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Issues in Applied Linguistics

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Conditions on Transfer: A Connectionist Approach Yasuhiro Shirai


The purpose of this paper is twofold: (1) to comprehensively discuss conditions under which LI transfer tends to occur, and (2) to explain these conditions in terms of the connectionist framework of second language representation, processing, and acquisition, primarily relying on the localized connectionist model (CLM = Connectionist Lexical Memory) of Gasser (1988). The conditions identified are: (1) interlingual mapping, (2) markedness, (3) language distance, (4) learner characteristics, (5) cognitive load, and (6) sociolinguistic context. It is argued that the connectionist framework explains LI transfer effectively and that the interaction of these factors determines the degree of LI transfer in interlanguage.

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