Problems of Gender and Number Agreement in Learning Romanian as a Foreign Language. An Analysis of A2 Level Native French Speakers
The hereby paper analyses gender and number agreement problems frequently encountered with French speaking students who are studying Romanian as a foreign language at A2 level. It was designed as a qualitative research, attempting to determine possible causes for the effects noticed in the students’ writing. The theoretical input was based on the differentiation between the linguistic type, the system, and the linguistic norm. Information was gathered from the written work of French speaking students at the “Iuliu Hațieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy Cluj-Napoca, who were involved in the University’s tandem project. We focused on the most visible agreement problems in Romanian – distinguishing between feminine and masculine, and between singular and plural forms of nouns, determiners and verbs. Our findings showed that the students’ written work did not present semantic inconsistencies, but rather grammatical ones. Furthermore, they revealed the tendency to extensively use the more basic forms of the parts of speech that needed to be agreed – the masculine and the singular forms particularly. Hence, we believe that these problems might have several possible causes such as: the students’ insufficient knowledge of the linguistic system of Romanian, their insufficient usage of the tools provided by the norm, and the fact that the influence of their mother tongue prevailed.
Agreement, Linguistic type, Norm, System