An L2 perspective on possessives: Contrasts and their possible consequences

  • Cathrine Fabricius-Hansen ILOS, University of Oslo
  • Hans Petter Helland ILOS, University of Oslo
  • Anneliese Pauline Pitz


The present paper presents the contrastive background and the basic objectives of a cross-linguistic research project (POSS) that takes an L2-oriented perspective on possessives in English, Norwegian, German, French and selected Slavic languages. Our paper focuses on L1/L2 pairs involving Norwegian as L2 or L1. Section 1 outlines the rationale behind our project. The morphosyntactic (‘core’) systems of English, French, German, Norwegian and Russian 3rd possessives are described and compared in section 2 while section 3 draws attention to dimensions of contrasts that fall outside the scope of our project. Section 4 specifically addresses the L2 issue, presenting for selected L1/L2 pairs our basic assumptions concerning challenges to the acquisition of the L2 possessive core system. Section 5 contains a concluding summary.

Author Biography

Cathrine Fabricius-Hansen, ILOS, University of Oslo
Researcher, Russian linguistics