Edited by Mineharu Nakayama, Yi-ching Su and Aijun Huang
[Language Acquisition and Language Disorders 60] 2017
► pp. 107–126
This study deals with the interpretation of bound pronouns by hearing learners of Japanese Sign Language (JSL). It is the first attempt to investigate JSL second language (L2) acquisition from a theoretical perspective. The Overt Pronoun Constraint (OPC) states that an overt pronoun can be bound by a referential NP, but not by an operator (including quantifiers and Wh-elements). JSL, as well as Japanese, allows an overt pronoun to corefer with a referential NP. However, (at least in some cases) the overt pronoun can be bound by a Wh-operator in JSL, but never in Japanese. A Truth-Value Judgment Task (TVJT) study was conducted, with different levels of Japanese-speaking learners of JSL, to observe if the OPC applies to a L1-L2 pair in different modalities, with different OPC status. The results showed that there was an anti-OPC effect among beginners, which lessened somewhat for intermediate learners.