Crosslinguistic influence on L2 implicature computation for determiners
This paper explores the extent to which L1-Korean L2-English speakers’ L1 influences the computation of conversational implicatures for the definite and demonstrative determiners the and that in English. Both the and that denote unique referents, but that carries implication of contrast (Roberts, 2002). Following Submaxim 2 of the Gricean Quantity Maxim, using that instead of unmarked the implicates that the referent is being implicitly contrasted with other members of the same noun. Korean has no equivalent for the and the demonstrative ku ‘that’ is situated on the semantic scale between the and that. This partial overlap could influence L1-Korean L2-English speakers’ implicature computation even though ku also carries implication of contrast. Acceptability judgment data indicate that unlike native speakers, L2 speakers did not show sensitivity to infelicitous use of that, indicating difficulty computing implicatures. Results are discussed in terms of crosslinguistic influence at the semantics-pragmatics interface in L2 acquisition.
Keywords: crosslinguistic influence, conversational implicature, uniqueness, definite and demonstrative determiners, semantics-pragmatics interface, implication of contrast
Published online: 06 May 2021
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