This study investigates how English, as the dominant language of Chinese heritage speakers, influences their minor language, Chinese, in the binding domain of the Chinese reflexive ziji. There are five different experimental groups: heritage learners, early bilinguals, late bilinguals, Chinese L2 learners and Chinese monolinguals. The Truth Value Judgment Task with stories (Crain and Thornton, 1998) is used to examine the structural differences in the binding domain between Chinese and English in this experiment.
According to my research and analyses, several experimental possibilities can be imagined regarding how the dominant language, English, influences in acquisition and attrition of the Chinese reflexive ziji. First, participants cannot access language-specific properties. Early bilinguals, heritage learners and Chinese L2 learners perform lower accuracy when the Chinese reflexive ziji stands outside the binding domain of English. This result corresponds to the conclusion made by Kim, Montrul, and Yoon (2005) in the experiment of binding interpretations between Korean heritage speakers and adult L2 learners of Korean.
Second, it is likely that L1 attrition does not exist among the experimental participants. Only Chinese L2 learners have a lower score in the test because they learn Chinese as a second language after the critical period.* Third, L1 attrition seems to exist in this experiment. Heritage learners, early bilinguals and late bilinguals show low accuracy in the test. The possible factor is the operation of L1 attrition
Based on the possibilities of this experiment, several issues need to be widely addressed in future researches. First, how does the dominant language influence learners to acquire the language-specific properties such as sub-commanding? Second, what role does the minority language play in the process of language-specific property acquisition?
*Kim, Montrul, and Yoon (2009: 1) proposed that Korean immigrants (attriters) did not differ from Korean controls, while simultaneous bilinguals (incomplete learners) and late L2 learners of Korean showed behavior different from Korean control when two languages were different in their binding properties. However, in the proposal second, I hypothesized that early bilinguals and late bilinguals will not show L1 attrition in the test, either. This is the difference between two experiments.
|Commitee:||Hoji, Hajime, Simpson, Andrew|
|School:||University of Southern California|
|Department:||East Asian Languages and Cultures|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 50/01M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Linguistics, Asian Studies, Asian American Studies|
|Keywords:||Chinese reflexive ziji, Dominant language, L1 attrition, Second language acquisition|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be