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Academic Paper


Title: Hypotheses and Methods in Second Language Acquisition: Testing the Noun Phrase Accessibility Hierarchy on Relative Clauses
Author: Fred R. Eckman
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/FLL/faculty/eckman.html
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Subject Language: Chinese, Yue
Japanese
Korean
Abstract: The purpose of this commentary is to discuss some of the findings and claims of the five articles contained in this special issue that deals with the relationship between the noun phrase accessibility hierarchy (NPAH), first proposed by Keenan and Comrie (1977), and the acquisition of relative clauses (RCs) in three Asian languages - Cantonese, Japanese, and Korean. This topic is of interest to SLA theory for at least two reasons. First, as Ozeki and
Shirai (this issue) pointed out, there is significant literature proposing to explain facts about the SLA of RCs involving European languages. This raises the question of whether the NPAH has the same explanatory value for languages that are genetically unrelated and geographically separated. The second reason is that Comrie (1998, 2002) recently proposed that nominal-attributive clauses in some Asian languages differ from RCs in European languages in important ways that might have an impact on whether the NPAH holds true
for the acquisition of RCs in these languages.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 29, Issue 2.

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