Evidence from adult Japanese L2 learners of English
Neal Snape |
Gunma Prefectural Women’s University |
Hironobu Hosoi |
Gunma Prefectural Women’s University |
Our study investigates the second language (L2) acquisition of scalar implicatures some and all.
We set out to answer two research questions based on three theoretical accounts, the lexical, pragmatic and syntactic accounts. In
an experiment we include English and Japanese native speakers, and intermediate and advanced Japanese L2 learners of English. We
used quantifiers some and all in ‘Yes/No’ questions in a context with sets of toy fruits, where
pragmatic answers are expected, e.g., a ‘No’ response to the question ‘Are some of the strawberries in the red
circle?’ (when a set of 14/14 strawberries are placed inside a red circle). Our individual results indicate that L2
learners are generally more pragmatic in their responses than native English speakers. But, there are neither significant
differences between groups nor significant differences between L2 proficiency levels. We consider the implications of our findings
for the acquisition of L2 semantics and pragmatics.
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