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Crosslinguistic Effects in L2 Acquisition: Strong/Weak Resultatives and the Directional/Locational Interpretation of PPs in L2 English by Japanese Speakers
Atsuko Yotsuya, Masanao Asano, Sayaka Koyama, Kazunori Suzuki, Mayumi Shibuya, Eri Iwagami, Kazuki Endo, Minami Ono, Kazue Takeda, and Makiko Hirakawa
89-100 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


The paper explores how the Directional interpretation of PPs is related to the acquisition of resultatives, focusing on L2 acquisition of the combination of English Strong/Weak Resultatives and the Directional/Locational interpretation of prepositional phrases (PPs) in English by Japanese speaking learners (JLEs). Upon the observation that the presence of the Directional reading in English and its absence in Japanese is closely parallel to the presence of Strong Resultatives in English and its absence in Japanese, Suzuki (2012) proposes to extend the concept of PathP to the structure of Strong Resultatives, deriving variations among languages from parametric differences of the nature of PathP and its syntactic licensing. Furthermore, Suzuki argues that the (un)availability of Strong Resultatives and the Directional interpretation of PPs can be explained by parameterizing covert PathP movement, which is permissible in English (and other Germanic languages), but not in Japanese (or other Romance languages). Two tasks (a truth-value judgment task with pictures and a scaled acceptability judgment task) were administered, including Strong/Weak resultatives and Directional/Locational PPs, to 81 JLEs and 10 English native speakers. Overall results indicate that JLEs generally accepted both the Strong Resultative and the Directional readings whereas individual results further show that only 13 learners (31.1%) were consistent in accepting both Strong/Weak Resultatives and Locational/ Directional readings. The individual results appear to suggest that the acquisition of Strong Resultatives is easier for Japanese learners than that of the Directional reading of PPs. This looks contradictory to Suzuki's (2012) prediction. Possible crosslinguistic effects in their L2 acquisition process are discussed.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 2012 Second Language Research Forum: Building Bridges between Disciplines
edited by Ryan T. Miller, Katherine I. Martin, Chelsea M. Eddington, Ashlie Henery, Nausica Marcos Miguel, Alison M. Tseng, Alba Tuninetti, and Daniel Walter
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Printed edition: $290.00