Bilingual speakers of typologically closely related languages tend to frequently experience language transfer, which suggests that similarity between languages is likely to play an important role in the transfer process. In this paper, we explore how three different types of similarity affect transfer of light verb constructions (lvc s), such as take a walk or set an alarm, from Dutch to German by native German speakers living in the Netherlands, namely: (a) similarity to existing constructions, (b) surface similarity based on whether the noun in the lvc is a cognate in Dutch and German, and (c) similarity in the light verb’s collocational contexts. The results suggest that all three types of similarity influence transfer: speakers add similar constructions to their language and they drop existing ones that happen to be less similar, ultimately facilitating convergence across the speakers’ languages.
- Language Transfer
- Light Verb