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The Unaccusative-Unergative Distinction in Resultatives: Evidence from Korean L2 Learners of English
Kyae-Sung Park and Usha Lakshmanan
328-338 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This study investigated whether Korean L2 learners of English know that English resultatives are compatible with alternating unaccusative verbs, but are incompatible with unergative verbs. The participants consisted of 23 Korean L2 learners of English (12 intermediate and 11 advanced) and 14 native speakers of English. The instrument, a context-embedded grammaticality judgment task (based on Hirakawa 2003), included 15 resultative sentences involving three verb-types: transitives, unergatives, and alternating unaccusatives. Between-group comparisons of the responses of the three groups indicated that all three groups accepted resultatives with transitive verbs and unaccusative verbs. While the advanced L2 group and the native speakers rejected resultatives with unergatives, the intermediate group failed to do so. At the same time, however, the results of the within-group comparisons of the subjects' responses across the three verb types indicated that all three groups did distinguish between unaccusative verbs and unergative verbs in resultatives.

Published in

Proceedings of the 2nd Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA)
edited by Alyona Belikova, Luisa Meroni, and Mari Umeda
Table of contents
Printed edition: $320.00