Locative Constructions in English Interlanguage: A Study of the Acquisition of Argument Realization in English by Iranian EFL Learners

Document Type: Original Research Paper


Department of English, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran


Locative constructions, as an instance of double object constructions with various cognitive-linguistic concepts, have been successful in attracting the linguists. This paper tried to evaluate the acquisition of English locative constructions by Persian native speakers in the absence of negative evidence, focusing on the influence of L1 and participants’ proficiency level in the course of acquisition. The participants of the study were a group of 90 Iranian EFL learners divided to low, mid, and high proficiency groups asked to carry out a production and a grammaticality judgment task on English locative constructions. The gathered data were analyzed, using one-way ANOVA and the following post hoc tests. The results of the study revealed that L2 learners’ mother tongue (Persian) was an influential factor, and proficiency level affected the performance of participants in the grammaticality judgment task and to a lower degree in the production task.  The findings of this study are expected to have pedagogical implications for EFL teachers, making them aware of possible problems EFL learners may be faced with in the course of acquisition of these structures in a foreign language.