This project aims to investigate the foreign language acquisition (FLA) of the Hindi case system.
Hindi is an Indo-Aryan language that only recently came to the attention of FLA research, with a
few studies focussing on the case acquisition of heritage learners (Montrul et al., 2012) and
foreign language (FL) learners (Baten & Verbeke, 2015; Ponnet et al. 2016; Ranjan 2016),
respectively. The data for these studies were collected on one occasion in time. The contribution
of the proposed research will be threefold. Firstly, it will uncover the development of the Hindi
case system with FL learners. Flemish, German and English FL learners of Hindi will be recruited
from the Hindi language courses that are organised at Ghent University (the department of Indian
Languages and Cultures), the University of Hamburg (Asien-Afrika Institut) and the Hindi
Department of SOAS London. Secondly, the research will be performed over a longer period in
time, by conducting interviews on five occasions spread over two consecutive years. Thirdly, it will
serve to verify or falsify one specific theory of FLA which predicts developmental stages in the
process of acquisition. This kind of FLA research is essential to gain insight into learner’s
acquisition processes and subsequently create adequate learner materials. This is of particular
importance, given the fact that current Hindi learner materials are mainly based on what is known
about Hindi as a first language.