This paper reports on an empirical study investigating whether English speakers are able to reassemble both syntactic and thematic features in their L2 acquisition of Chinese resultative compounds, which are different from those in English. Results of an acceptability judgment test suggest that there are asymmetric developments in the syntactic and thematic structures of English speakers' L2 Chinese resultative compounds. It is found that learners generally find it difficult to de-link the L1-based assembly of thematic features, although those at intermediate and advanced stages are able to reassemble the syntactic features. The asymmetric developments found in English speakers' L2 acquisition of Chinese resultative compounds point to the necessity of making distinctions between syntactic and thematic features in the study of L2 feature reassembly. They suggest that the extent of the difficulty which feature reassembly poses to L2 grammars is likely to vary with the type of features involved in the L2 feature reassembly.
Proceedings of the 10th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2009)
edited by Melissa Bowles, Tania Ionin, Silvina Montrul, and Annie Tremblay Table of contents
ISBN 978-1-57473-434-8 library binding
v + 294 pages
publication date: 2009
published by Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA, USA