Nguyen Thi Quyen

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This paper investigates the choice of articles by L1 (frst language) Vietnamese learners of L2 (second language) English under the framework proposed by Ionin, Ko and Wexler (2004). According to their Fluctuation Hypothesis and Article Choice Parameter, L2 learners of English whose L1 does not have articles have direct, universal grammar-mediated access to universal semantic features of the article system, i.e. defniteness and specifcity. The dual article system of English encodes defniteness, which leads L2 learners whose L1 lacks a proper article system to fluctuate between the two values of the Article Choice Parameter, that is, defniteness and specifcity. Although empirical research has been done to examine the acquisition of article system by both L1 and L2 learners as well as to validate the hypothesis, the results obtained from the research appear to be inconclusive, laying a fruitful area for further investigation. The current research was carried out with the aim to enrich L2 data with respect to the article acquisition domain and, more importantly, to examine Ionin et al.’s (2004) conclusions regarding the effect of specifcity on the choice of article. The study was also motivated by the scarcity of research looking at how Vietnamese learners of L2 English acquire the target article system.