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Wh-existential words : a comparative study of English-Chinese and Korean-Chinese interlanguages
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|Title:||Wh-existential words : a comparative study of English-Chinese and Korean-Chinese interlanguages|
|Issue Date:||Aug 2014|
|Publisher:||[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2014]|
|Abstract:||This dissertation looks at native language (L1) influence on adult nonnative language (L2) lexical development, investigating, in particular, whether the syntactic and semantic properties underlying L1 words have effects on the acquisition of lexical equivalents in the L2. The investigation is motivated by the following crosslinguistic differences as instantiated in wh-words in Chinese, Korean and English with respect to the existential sense: In Chinese, wh-words (e.g., shenme) can be used as existentials (i.e., 'something/anything') as well as interrogatives (i.e., 'what') (Cheng, 1991; Huang, 1982). Chinese wh-existentials are confined to syntactico-semantic environments denoting nonveridicality (e.g., negatives, yes/no questions, conditionals) (Giannakidou, 2011); in Korean, wh-existentials are free of these restrictions (Gil & Marsden, 2013); and in English, wh-words can never function as existentials. A comparative Interlanguage study is conducted to examine wh-existentials in the L2 Chinese of adult L1-Korean and L1-English speakers. The exploration centers on two main predictions based on Sprouse's (2006) Lexical Transfer Hypothesis: (i) In nonveridical constructions, lower proficiency L1-Korean L2 learners of Chinese will pattern like Chinese native speakers in allowing wh-existentials, whereas lower proficiency L1-English L2 learners will show inhibitions against them; (ii) in veridical constructions, lower proficiency L1-English L2 learners will perform like Chinese speakers in prohibiting nontarget wh-existentials, whereas lower proficiency L1-Korean L2 learners will be inclined to allow them.|
Intermediate and advanced L1-English and L1-Korean L2 learners of Chinese (English intermediate, n = 20; English advanced, n = 22; Korean intermediate, n = 21; Korean advanced, n = 20) and native speakers of Chinese (n = 30) completed three experiments targeting the interpretations of shenme 'THING' in nonveridical negative sentences and veridical present progressive sentences (contextualized multiple-choice interpretation task), the existential use of shenme 'THING' and shui 'PERSON' in nonveridical negative sentences and veridical present progressive sentences (elicited production task), and the acceptability judgments of existential shui 'PERSON' in yes/no questions and conditionals (acceptability judgment task). The results of the three experiments generally support the Lexical Transfer Hypothesis, which suggests that a deep level of lexical transfer--transfer of the syntactic and semantic properties underlying L1 lexical items--indeed influences L2 lexical development.
|Description:||Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.|
Includes bibliographical references.
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|Appears in Collections:||Ph.D. - Second Language Acquisition|
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