City University of Hong Kong Dep
Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
Research Degree Forum
Binding Principle A and Morphosyntax of Reflexives in L2 Interlanguage: Evidence from a Cross Study of L2 Acquisition of Chinese and English
Ms. ZENG Li
PhD candidate, Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, City University of Hong Kong
Date: 3 Dec 2009, Thursday
Time: 4:30 - 5:30pm
Venue: B7603 (7/F, Blue Zone), Academic Building, CityU
The presentation reports the main finding of a cross study of second language acquisition of Chinese and English reflexives by respective English and Chinese speakers. The study employed a grammaticality judgment task and a context-based sentence judgment task to investigate the learners’ knowledge of L2 reflexives in terms of binding domain and proper antecedents. The learners recapitulated Chinese and English L1 grammar development on binding domain of reflexives. Both the L2 and L1 acquisition involved an initial stage of unsystematic use of reflexives with arbitrary long distance and local binding before a correct local binding domain of reflexives was established in accordance with Principle A, probably as a result of successfully recognizing individual reflexive lexicons. Moreover, the L2 learners were able to select proper antecedents for reflexives in accord to their morphological characteristics. The results suggest L2 acquisition of reflexives is morphologically boot-stripping and UG constrained.
Ms. ZENG Li is currently a PhD student at Department of Chinese Translation and Linguistics. Her research interests are second and first language acquisition from the generative approach.
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