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LINGUIST List 16.1564

Mon May 16 2005

Diss: Lang Acquisition: Marsden: 'Quantifier Scope ...'

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        1.    Heather Marsden, Quantifier Scope in Non-native Japanese: A comparative interlanguage study of Chinese, English, and Korean-speaking learners


Message 1: Quantifier Scope in Non-native Japanese: A comparative interlanguage study of Chinese, English, and Korean-speaking learners
Date: 13-May-2005
From: Heather Marsden <h.l.marsdenncl.ac.uk>
Subject: Quantifier Scope in Non-native Japanese: A comparative interlanguage study of Chinese, English, and Korean-speaking learners


Institution: University of Durham
Program: Department of Linguistics and English Language
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2004

Author: Heather Marsden

Dissertation Title: Quantifier Scope in Non-native Japanese: A comparative interlanguage study of Chinese, English, and Korean-speaking learners

Dissertation URL: http://www.staff.ncl.ac.uk/h.l.marsden/

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition
                            Psycholinguistics
                            Semantics
                            Syntax

Subject Language(s): Chinese, Mandarin (CHN)
                            English (ENG)
                            Japanese (JPN)
                            Korean (KKN)

Dissertation Director:
Anders Holmberg
Bonnie D Schwartz

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis investigates native language (L1) influence and innate
linguistic knowledge (i.e., Universal Grammar) in non-native language (L2)
acquisition by means of a comparative interlanguage study of quantifier
scope interpretation in L2 Japanese, by adult native speakers of English,
Chinese, and Korean. The phenomena investigated are:

i. the availability of object-wide scope in sentences with an
existentially-quantified subject and universally-quantified object (e.g.,
Someone read every book.).

ii. the availability of a pair-list reading in questions with everyone as
the subject and what as the object (e.g., What did everyone buy?).

Picture-sentence match tasks are developed to investigate these two
phenomena in native Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean, as well as in
English/Japanese Chinese/Japanese and Korean/Japanese interlanguage. The
native experimental data confirm that, with respect to (i), the object-wide
scope interpretation ('for each book, someone read it') is readily
available in English but not in Japanese, Chinese, or Korean; and with
respect to (ii), a pair-list answer (e.g., Sam bought apples, Jane bought
pears, Sue bought…) is readily available in English, Chinese and Korean,
but not in Japanese.

These cross-linguistic differences are exploited in the investigation of
two main predictions based on Schwartz & Sprouse's (1994, 1996) Full
Transfer/Full Access model of L2 acquisition: (1) the L2 learner groups
will show divergent development with respect to Japanese scope
interpretation due to the distinct scope interpretation possibilities in
their respective L1s; (2) advanced L2 learners of Japanese will demonstrate
native-like knowledge of quantification phenomena even under severe poverty
of the stimulus, due to L2 acquisition being constrained by UG. The results
support both predictions. On the basis of these findings, it is concluded
that both the L1 and UG are privileged sources of knowledge in the L2
acquisition of phenomena at the syntax-semantics interpretive interface.





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