[ p. 404 ]Knowledge of English verb phrase ellipsis by speakers of Arabic and Chinese
English verb phrase ellipsis (VPE) involves both syntactic and discourse information. The present study investigates knowledge of these properties by L1 speakers of Arabic and Mandarin Chinese. Three issues are addressed. Can the participants acquire syntactic properties of VPE that differ from their L1s and are under-determined by positive evidence? Can they acquire all of the syntactic properties of VPE that differ from their L1s? Can they successfully integrate their knowledge of the syntax of VPE with discourse information determining felicity? Results from a sentence completion judgement task are broadly consistent with the L2 participants having Universal Grammar (UG)-constrained grammars for VPE, and with their being able to successfully integrate syntactic representations with discourse information. A persistent problem with an uninterpretable feature is discussed, as are the implications of the findings for the claim that VPE involves gradient grammaticality.
Keywords: English verb phrase ellipsis, L2 speaker knowledge of ellipsis, Poverty of the stimulus in L2
Published online: 30 November 2012
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Cited by 2 other publications
Al-Thubaiti, Kholoud A
Schmid, Monika S., Steven Gilbers & Amber Nota
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