عنوان مقاله [English]
This study aimed to explore the use of noun dependent morphemes in Azerbaijani-Persian bilinguals’ writing samples based on 4-M model. 80 writing samples were collected from primary students (males and females) who studied at rural schools of Meshkin-Shahr Township. The research method was descriptive-analytic. Following the 4-M model, the noun dependent morphemes of Persian language were classified into three categories i. e. early system morphemes (plural morphemes, quantifiers and …), late bridge system morphemes (genitive marker and conjunction “ke”), and late outside system morphemes (accusative marker). Descriptive statistics of correctly used morphemes showed that in comparison to early system morphemes, late outside system morphemes were acquired later and with more difficulty. It seems that there is a relation between the nature of different morphemes (activation of morphemes at the abstract levels of speech production) and their acquisition order. Late outside system morphemes draw on L2 morpho-syntactic system and are activated at later stages of speech production process. The selection of early system morphemes occurs indirectly at lexico-conceptual level and is simultaneous with the direct selection of content morphemes. The findings confirmed the efficiency of4-M model in explaining the order of acquisition of L2 morphemes.
The aim of this paper is to study the use of noun dependent morphemes of Persian in Azerbaijani-Persian bilinguals’ writing based on 4-M model. The 4-M model specifies four types of morphemes: content morphemes, early system morphemes, and two types of late system morphemes. The model further subcategorizes late system morphemes into two types: bridges and outsiders. Early system morphemes are activated at the lemma level together with their content morpheme heads for their maximal projection. Unlike content morphemes and early system morphemes, late system morphemes depend on other types of information for their activation, and this information is only available at the level of the formulator, where language specific morpho-syntactic patterns must be realized. Information about all types of morphemes is present in lemmas, information about content morphemes and early system morphemes is salient at the conceptual level, and information about late system morphemes becomes salient at the positional level of the formulator. Levelt defines “lemma” as the non-phonological part of an item’s lexical information. It is in the lemmas of the mental lexicon that conceptual information is linked to grammatical function” (1989, p.162). lemmas are abstract entries in the mental lexicon that contain information about the three subsystems of lexical structure: lexical-conceptual structure” conflating universally-available semantic and pragmatic information, “predicate-argument structure” specifying the properties of verbs in terms of their subcategorization frames, how many arguments they may take, and what thematic role each argument receives, and “morphological realization patterns” spelling out surface devices for word order, agreement, tense/aspect marking.
The data were collected from 80 primary students’ writings (40 fourth grade students’ writings and 40 fifth grade students’ writings) in Meshkin-Shahr villages. 80 subjects were native speakers of Azerbaijani but they had learned Persian (language of instruction) as a second language. The present study offers some concrete evidence for the 4-M model from data dealing with second language morpheme accuracy/frequency acquisition. The research method was descriptive-analytic. First, on the descriptive level, the noun dependent morphemes of Persian were characterized in terms of their entries in the mental lexicon (i.e., lemmas). Evidence indicates that morpheme acquisition order would not be explained without the characterization of morphemes themselves, and such a characterization depends on the formalization of a connection between the underlying abstract lexical entries in the mental lexicon and surface realizations. Second, the study went beyond describing the nature of different types of morphemes to investigating the relative accessibility of morphemes in second language production. So the noun dependent morphemes of Persian were classified into: early system morphemes (plural morpheme, quantifiers and …), late bridge system morphemes (genitive marker and conjunction “ke”), and late outside system morphemes (accusative marker) according to 4-M model. This study was based on the assumption that the theoretical constructs of the distinction between content and system morphemes and the distinction between conceptually activated and non-conceptually activated lexemes best capture the generalizations of morpheme accuracy/frequency acquisition. The 4-M model captures these distinctions in claiming that not all such elements are accessed in the same way. The differences across abstract lexical entries in the mental lexicon cause different degrees of difficulty in acquiring different types of morphemes. The descriptive statistics of the data showed that not all morphemes are produced with equal accuracy. Learner errors with the late system morphemes (accusative marker) are more frequent than other system morphemes. Both 4th and 5th grade learners had almost no difficulty in acquiring some early system morphemes (such as vocative particle), but they had serious difficulty inaccurately producing the late system morphemes. So the late outside system morphemes of Persian (accusative marker) are acquired with more difficulty and later in comparison to early system morphemes. It seems there is a relation between the nature of different morphemes and their acquisition order. Second language acquisition processes and developmental patterns can be best explained and predicted in terms of the nature of different types of morphemes being acquired. Directly-elected morphemes (content morphemes) are acquired first and they add more lexical specifications, resulting in the projection of indirectly-elected morphemes (early system morphemes). So the differential projection of morphemes decides the acquisition order. Late outside system morphemes draw on L2 morpho-syntactic system and are activated later in the production process. Early system morphemes are indirectly selected at the same time that content morphemes are directly selected. It is the nature of morphemes that can effectively explain why certain learner errors are more frequent and common than others and thus determine the order of second language morpheme accuracy/acquisition. The findings indicate that 4-M model is efficient in explaining the order of acquisition of L2 morphemes.