A Real Dilemma: Countable or Uncountable?
Keywords:Nominal System, Count/Mass Nouns, Negative Transfer
This study examines the second language (L2) acquisition of English nominal system and the count/mass nouns by Turkish learners. The aims are (1) to examine the percentages of success in the usage of the count/mass nouns at different levels, (2) to identify the errors regarding the numbering system and the count/mass distinction in the sentences and compositions the learners have produced, (3) to provide possible explanations for the causes of the errors the participants produced. In English, there is a difference between singularity and plurality at the lexical level. On the other hand, when the number system of Turkish is considered, a different paradigm is observed. Related to the count/mass nouns, unlike English, there is no grammatical distinction between countable and uncountable nouns in Turkish. 90 students at prep-class from engineering department at the levels of beginner, pre-intermediate, and intermediate were tested via a translation task and the participantsâ€™ paragraphs written in a quiz.
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