The Acquisition of Spatial Relations in a Second Language

This book is the third to appear in the SIBIL series based on results from the European Science Foundation's Additional Activity on the second language acquisition of adult immigrants. It analyses from a longitudinal and cross-linguistic perspective the acquisition of the linguistic means to express spatial relations in the target languages English, French and German. Learners' progress in the expression of spatial relations is closely followed over a period of 30 months using a wide range of oral data, and the factors determining both the specifics of individual source/target language pairings, and the general characteristics of all cases of acquisition studied, are carefully described. In particular, a basic system for the expression of spatial relations common to all learners from all language backgrounds is identified. The book is of particular significance for the field of second language acquisition in that this is the first time that results are presented in English on the acquisition of L2 means to express the basic cognitive - and communicational - category of space from a comparative linguistic point of view.