L2-VYSA Corpus

Anne Vainikka
Linguistics and Cognitive Sciences
University of Delaware


Martha Young-Scholten
School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics
Newcastle University


Participants: 3
Type of Study: naturalistic / longitudinal
Location: Germany
Media type: audio
DOI: doi:10.21415/T5FK67

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Citation information

Vainikka, A. and M. Young-Scholten. 2013. Universal minimal structure: Evidence and theoretical ramifications. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 3:2. 180-212.

Vainikka, A. and M. Young-Scholten. 2013. Stages in second language acquisition. In J. Herschensohn and M. Young-Scholten (eds.) The Handbook of Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 851-604.

Vainikka, A. and M. Young-Scholten. 2012. The straight and narrow path. Response to Dabrowska. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism.

Vainikka, A. and M. Young-Scholten. 2010. All acquisition begins with the projection of a bare VP Reply to: The interface between bilingual development and Specific Language Impairment, Johanne Paradis. Applied Psycholinguistics 13: 332-339.

Vainikka, A. and M. Young-Scholten. 2009. Successful features: Verb raising and adverbs in L2 acquisition under an Organic Grammar approach. In N. Snape, I. Y-K. Leung and M. Sharwood Smith (eds.) Representational Deficits in SLA. Studies in Honour of Roger Hawkins. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Pp. 53-68.

Vainikka, A. and M. Young-Scholten. 2007. Minimalism vs. Organic Syntax. In S. Karimi, V. Samiian and W. Wilkins (eds.) Clausal and Phrasal Architecture: Syntactic Derivation and Interpretation. Papers in Honour of Joseph Emonds. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Pp. 319-338.

Vainikka, A. and M. Young-Scholten. 2007. The role of literacy in the development of L2 morphosyntax from an Organic Grammar perspective. In N. Faux (ed.) Low Educated Adult Second Language and Literacy Acquisition. Richmond: Literacy Institute, Virginia Commonwealth University. Pp. 123-148.

Vainikka, A. and M. Young-Scholten. 2005. The roots of syntax and how they grow: Organic Grammar, the Basic Variety and Processibility Theory. In S. Unsworth, T. Parodi, A. Sorace and M. Young- Scholten. Paths of Development. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Pp. 77-106.

Vainikka, A. and M. Young-Scholten. 2003. Review of Roger Hawkins (2001): Second Language Syntax: A Generative Introduction. Lingua 113: 93-102.

Vainikka, A. and M. Young-Scholten. 2002. Restructuring the CP in L2 German. In B. Skarabela, S. Fish and A. H.-J. Do (eds.) Proceedings of the XXVI Conference on Boston University Conference on Language Development. pp. 712-722.

Vainikka, A. and M. Young-Scholten.1998. Person agreement in L2 acquisition. McGill Working Papers Vol. 13: 1 & 2:197-208.

Vainikka, A. and M. Young-Scholten 1998. The initial state in the L2 acquisition of phrase structure. In S. Flynn, G. Martohardjono and W. O’Neil (eds.) The Generative Study of Second Language Acquisition. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum. pp.17-34.

Vainikka, A. and M. Young-Scholten. 1998. Tree growth and morphosyntactic triggers in adult SLA. In M. L. Beck (ed.) The L2 Acquisition of Morphology. Amsterdam: Benjamins. pp. 89-113. Young-Scholten, M. 2004. Longitudinal naturalistic data: Treasures out of Pandora’s Box. In G. Holzer (ed.) Voies vers le Plurilinguisme. Besançon: Presses Universitaires de Franche-Comté. Pp. 195-204.

In accordance with TalkBank rules, any use of data from this corpus must be accompanied by at least one of the above references.

Project Description

The acronym VYSA for this corpus stands for Vainikka and Young-Scholten's Americans. Recordings for this study were from participants spending a year abroad learning German while living with German-speaking host families and attending German secondary schools in standard German-speaking urban and peri-urban regions of Germany. None of the three had prior exposure to German, there were no special German classes for them at their secondary schools and there were no other exchange students at their schools. The study took place in the 1990s before the wide-spread use of digital devices and social media, which meant that participants spent their free time interacting in German rather than in English. Recordings were made in a quiet room at each participant’s host family’s home or in another quiet location. Utterances were spontaneous in nature through conversations between the researcher and the participant. In addition, participants also took a range of broad and narrow elicitation tasks to better examine their production of morphosyntax and phonology.

Participant NameAge at start of testingNumber of SessionsSex
Joan 166F
Paul 174M
George 154M


  • Young-Scholten, Martha. 2004. Prosodic constraints on allophonic distribution in adult L2 acquisition. International Journal of Bilingualism 8(1):67-77.
  • Vainikka, Anne and Martha Young-Scholten. 2011. The Acquisition of German: Introducing Organic Grammar. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  • Vainikka, Anne and Martha Young-Scholten. 2013. Universal minimal structure: Evidence and theoretical ramifications. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 3(2):180-212.
  • Young-Scholten, Martha and Monika Langer. 2015. The role of orthographic input in L2 German: Evidence from naturalistic adult learners’ production. Applied Psycholinguistics 36(1):93-114.