Chapter published in:Three Streams of Generative Language Acquisition Research: Selected papers from the 7th Meeting of Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition – North America, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Edited by Tania Ionin and Matthew Rispoli
[Language Acquisition and Language Disorders 63] 2019
► pp. 253–270
Interpretation of count and mass NPs by L2-learners from generalized classifier L1s
This study investigates whether L2-learners from generalized classifier (GC) languages (Korean and Chinese) can acquire the count/mass distinction of English, in the domain of singular NP interpretation. We hypothesize that L1-Korean/Chinese L2-English learners transfer the properties of NP interpretation from their L1 to their L2. This hypothesis was tested using a Picture-Matching Task (PMT). To confirm the L1-transfer effect, Korean and Chinese versions of the experiment were also administered. The results of the English study show that L1-Korean/Chinese L2-English learners were target-like with count NPs, but allowed object-readings of mass NPs more than English NSs. The results of the Korean and Chinese experiment versions provide possible evidence that the pattern of results obtained for L2-English is due to L1-transfer from Korean/Chinese.
Keywords: NP interpretation, mass/count distinction, count nouns, mass nouns, English, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, L1-transfer, syntax/semantics mappings
Published online: 15 April 2019
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