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Learnability and Modality Restrictions on Conditionals in L2 Japanese and English
Makiko Hirakawa and Kazunori Suzuki
40-49 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


We investigate the L2 acquisition of conditional sentences in Japanese and English, focusing on modality restrictions in Japanese. The two languages differ in whether modality can be expressed in the main clause of conditional sentences. Some conditionals in Japanese observe modality restrictions, whereas there are no such restrictions in English conditionals. Thus, English and Japanese conditionals are in a superset/subset relation, as Japanese is more restricted in the choice of predicates. The results of the two experimental studies reveal that learners of English were generally aware of the grammaticality of English conditionals and that learners of Japanese had difficulty rejecting conditionals violating modality restrictions. We argue that these results support our initial hypothesis that L1 Japanese speakers acquire conditionals in L2 English more easily than L1 English speakers acquire L2 Japanese conditionals.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 2010 Second Language Research Forum: Reconsidering SLA Research, Dimensions, and Directions
edited by Gisela Granena, Joel Koeth, Sunyoung Lee-Ellis, Anna Lukyanchenko, Goretti Prieto Botana, and Elizabeth Rhoades
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Printed edition: $260.00