Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Transfer of Topic-Prominence in Chinese-English Interlanguage
by Stoecker, Kurt, M.A., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2013, 91; 1544485
Abstract (Summary)

Languages can be categorized in terms of topic prominence or subject prominence. English is characterized as subject prominent while languages such as Chinese are considered topic prominent in structure. In subject prominence, the subject must always have a direct relationship, in terms of meaning with the verb, and the subject performs the action or exists in the state named by the verb. This is not the case in a topic prominent system, where the subject may be missing altogether (Li and Thompson 1981). Crucial to this study will be a comparison of word order and pragmatics between English and Chinese with their respective systems. Chinese learners of English have been observed to unknowingly "map" their Chinese discourse structure onto English sentences to fit this pattern (L1 function to L2 form) resulting in what has been called a "pseudo passive" construction (Han 2000). An example of a pseudo-passive would be: New cars must keep inside. This study will attempt to demonstrate that these pseudo passives are indeed an indication of transfer of L1 function to L2 form and that they persist in interlanguage even at advanced stages of proficiency. Appropriate pedagogical considerations will then be discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hardman, Joel, Slavkov, Nikolay
Commitee: Dogancay-Aktuna, Seran, LaFond, Larry
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: English Language and Literature
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 52/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: English as a Second Language
Keywords: Form-focused instruction, Multi-competence, Pseudo-passive, Subject-prominence, Topic-comment, Transfer
Publication Number: 1544485
ISBN: 978-1-303-34763-4
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