L2 acquisition of any: negative evidence, negative implicature and negative L1 transfer

Kook-hee Gil, Heather Marsden, Melinda Whong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper reports on two preliminary studies of L2 knowledge of the polarity item any. Any is ungrammatical in most declarative affirmative contexts, but it can be licensed exceptionally by negative implicature (*I said anything v. I regret that I said anything). The studies aim to shed light on what facilitates acquisition of the distribution of any, examining the roles of (i) negative evidence in the form of explicit instruction, and (ii) L1 transfer. Initial findings are that L1 transfer facilitates acquisition of where any is ungrammatical. However, learners failed to acquire the exceptional licensing of any by negative implicature, regardless of L1 and instruction. Proposals for further collaborative research with language educators are put forward.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSelected Proceedings of the Second Language Research Forum 2010
PublisherCascadilla Proceedings Project
ISBN (Print)978-1-57473-448-5
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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