This study explores the final state attained by late L2 learners; in particular we argue that L1 grammar (i.e., L1 I-language) does not constitute such a steady state. Related to this question is the nature of adult L2 learners, for which we argue that late L2 learners are basically conservative, which accounts for the fact that their L2 I-language is a subset of the native speakers' I-language. Two English constructions are examined: resultatives (Mary painted the house red) and depictives (John ate the meat raw). 12 Mandarin speakers of English and 12 native English speakers participated in the study, whose knowledge of the English resultatives and depictives was measured via a Guided Production (GP) task and a Grammaticality Judgment (GJ) task. The data were analyzed within DM (Distributed Morphology, Halle and Marantz 1993; Marantz 1997). The results indicate that the I-language developed by the non-native speakers resemble that attained by the controls, although the two groups differ in their performance systems, and such a difference can be systematically attributed to the effects of what we call the Relativized L1 Transfer Condition (RTL1C). This study signifies the import to differentiate I-language from E-language in the generative L2 research.
Proceedings of the 6th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2002): L2 Links
edited by Juana M. Liceras, Helmut Zobl, and Helen Goodluck
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