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Issues in Applied Linguistics

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Acquisition of the Zero and Null Articles in English


This paper analyzes spoken interlanguage data from 15 non-native speaker (NNS) at three English interlanguage levels representing five native language (L1) backgrounds (Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and German) to describe the acquisition of the zero and null articles, the first of which occurs in indefinite and the second in definite noun phrases. The lack of a marked difference in the acquisition of the two forms suggests that learners are generally not aware of the distinction between the zero and null articles.

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