Interference, Transfer


"By phenomena of interference i mean those instances of deviation from the norms of a language which occur in the speech of a bilingual as the result of his familiariuty with another language, i.e. as a result of language contact." Weinreich 1965:126

"Language interference, i.e. transferring linguistic habits of L1 to L2 (and possibly vice versa), is an inevitable outcome of the language contact which occurs in the process of learning L2." (Krzeszowski 1967: 34)

Interference: positive and negative effects

Transfer: positive effects: facilitation

Types of interference: intrastructural and interstructural

Subsititution Over-differentiation Under-differentiation Over-indulgence Under-representation Over-generalization Hypercorrection


Which type of interference do the following cases represent?
1) A piece of wood swam down the river
2) Having reached the port they were looking forward to seeing their families.
3) iIam back in some minutes.
4) Tom hided behind a tree.
5) He used to sit on that bank.
6) The girl which I yesterday met is from Boston.

German, Swiss German, French, ... to .... English

e.g.: German prepalatal spirants s/z used instead of dental spirants because accoustic and physiological differences are small

Word order patterns carried over
G: er kommt immer rechtzeitig
E:*He comes always in time

metaphorization, word use, meaning relationships, integration of grammar and lexicon, relevance of culture context:
all these processes and conventions are impossibe to translate in a narrow sense.
The semantic features of words, the connotations of meanings are never equivalent interlingually

It is hardly ever possible to keep phonological, grammatical, semantic, stylictic forms of interference clearly separated. There are almost always areas of overlap.

Language mixture can mean fun!

German: Schnee und Schmutz bedeckten die Strasse.
English: The road was covered with snow and mud.

Positive Interference is Transfer

Der alte Mann
The old man


eine Pfeife rauchen
to smoke a pipe

ein Raucher
a smoker

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