Interference of Greek learners' native language in their written performance of English verb tenses
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The main focus of this study is on depicting, classifying and evaluating instances of contextually erroneous verb tense use in the English language as a result of negative transfer from the native language (Modern Greek). In the first chapter, the researcher attempts a definition of the notion of language transfer and provides a detailed account of the linguistic evolution of the transfer concept from its origin in behaviourism up to recent studies that view interference as being a fundamental part of the interlanguage formation and implementation process. The various types of language transfer are also stated in the first chapter and a thorough analysis in relation to how and when language transfer occurs is provided. The second chapter involves a definition of contextual grammar and its role and function regarding negative transfer as well as a detailed account of the use of verb tenses in both English and Greek and consequently states and classifies the differences in verb tense use between the two languages that could originate negative transfer in L2 performance. The third chapter refers to the reasons and criteria for the verb tense interference test design and implementation and presents the negative transfer error classification system which has been established and applied throughout the L2 data analysis process. In the fourth chapter, the interference data are analysed in terms of error distribution in the interference test and in samples of free writing, in relation to the type of activity of the interference test and the country in which Greek native speakers are currently studying (Greece and Scotland). The distribution of calques (as the most frequently occurring type of interference error) is also included in the fourth chapter as a result of the analysis of the interference tests in contrast to samples of free writing. The last chapter (the fifth one) presents an evaluation of the interference test and its findings in relation to the role of age, formal instruction and type of activity in the occurrence of negative transfer in L2 performance.