Investigating Iraqi EFL Learners' Use of Grammatical Zero

Abstract

This paper explores the phenomenon of grammatical zero, the absence of markers indicating grammaticalness in some constructions but they are still grammatical. It aims at giving an analytic account of EFL Iraqi learners' ability to recognize and produce grammatical zero through conducting a test to college students of English departments to address the main argument of the paper which is whether they face difficulty when performing the phenomenon in question. The findings obtained from the results of the test prove the hypothesis of the paper saying that Iraqi EFL learners' ability to use grammatical zero is poor. Consequently, the paper concludes that the reasons for such poor performance are attributed to language transfer represented by the interligual and intralingual negative transfer, context of learning and communicative strategies.