The Acquisition of the Narrow-Range Rules for the Dative Alternation in English by Japanese and Chinese Adult Learners of English

Date
1994
Authors
Inagaki, Shunji
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Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether adult Japanese and chinese learners of Engish have access to the narrow-range rules for the dative alternation in English Proposed by Pinker (1989). Speclfically, based on certain analyses of the dative constructions in Japanese and chinese and Bley-Vroman's Fundamental Difference Hypothesis. It was hypothesized that (a) adult Japanese learners of English would have access to the dative consequence of ballisticness, but not to the syntactic consequence of manner of speaking for the drtl-ve elternation in English and that (b) adult Chinese learners of English would have access to the latter, but not to the former. Thirty-two native speakerg of English, thirty-two adult Japanese learners of English and thirty-two adult Chinese learners of English served as subjects. A modified version of the questionnaire containing real and made-up verbs developed by Yoshinaga (1991) and Bley-Vroman and Yoshinaga (1992) was used. OnIy hypothesis (b) was supported by the results. Based on the results, the pobability of selective access to UG in second language acquisition is suggested.
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