The interpretation of pronouns by Japanese Learners of English
Myoko Ito |
Tsuda College/Daito Bunka University
The purpose of this paper is to examine whether adult L2 learners of English have the same kinds of problem interpreting pronouns as L1 learning children do. Based on Reinhart and Reuland’s (1993) ‘Reflexivity’ and Grodzinsky and Reinhart’s (1993) ‘Rule I’, specific error patterns were predicted for 58 Japanese high school students, as compared to 14 English native controls, and 40 Japanese native controls. The experimental sentences included simple as well as complex sentences with both quantified and referential antecedents. Results indicate that L2 learners do have similar problems to L1 learning children. Specifically, they can use syntactic and lexical knowledge of English pronouns in interpreting pronoun reference but they have difficulty using the pragmatic principle Rule I.