Research Seminars on Chinese Linguistics & Chinese as a Second Language
Michaelmas Term, 2016
The Research Seminars on Chinese Linguistics and Chinese as a Second Language ("L2 Chinese") are held by the L2 Chinese research group of the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. The aim of these seminars is to provide a platform for researchers to discuss recent developments in the field, to present their work and to receive feedback from fellow researchers. The seminars are supervised by Dr Boping Yuan.
All are welcome!
Friday, 18th November, 2016 in Room L1 at the Faculty
Effects of L1 transfer and input availability on L2 acquisition: evidence from L2 Chinese and Thai
Please note the change of location for this seminar.
The seminar starts at 4:00pm and ends at 6:00pm.
In my PhD project, I investigate roles of L1 features and availability of target language input on L2 acquisition, using data from an empirical study regarding L2 acquisition of Chinese and Thai nominal phrases.
In the study, L1 featural characteristics are grouped into two categories, namely 1) L1 feature is the same as a target language feature; and 2) L1 feature is different from a target language feature. Characteristics of input availability are also divided into two categories, namely 1) Target language input is available to confirm or disconfirm L1 transferred features; and 2) No target language input is available.
For Chinese learners of Thai and Thai learners of Chinese, linguistic phenomena within a nominal phrase domain (such as word order, the use of classifiers and measure words, and the use of collective markers) can represent four possible combinations of the two abovementioned factors. Therefore, they serve as good material to study effects and interactions of these factors.
In my empirical study, a total of 144 participants were recruited. They completed an acceptability judgment task and a self-paced reading task designed to test their acceptability and sensitivity to different features under the nominal phrase domain.
In general, results from these tasks indicate that:
1) It is more likely that learners will successfully acquire a target language feature when learners’ L1 and target language features are the same, compared to when the two features are different.
2) However, the L1 positive transfer effect is not absolute. The fact that L1 and target language features are the same does not always guarantee that learners can behave native-like under all criteria.
3) It is more likely that learners will successfully acquire a target language feature when target language input is available, compared to when the input is not available.
4) However, even when no target language input is available (i.e. falling under the poverty-of-stimulus situation), learners do not necessarily fail to acquire relevant target language features.
For further information, contact:
PhD Student, Chinese Studies
Department of East Asian Studies