AuthorYing, Honnguang, 1958-
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation investigates second language learners' knowledge of reconstruction in English and Chinese. To tap Chinese learners' knowledge of reconstruction in English, experiments included sentences that are underdetermined (not directly available) in Chinese, namely, sentences with a reflexive (himself/herself) inside a moved NP (noun phrase) or predicate that contains a wh-element. To tap English learners' knowledge of reconstruction in Chinese, an experiment included sentences that are underdetermined in English, namely, sentences with ambiguity of antecedence of ziji 'self' inside a moved predicate and in non-movement sentences. Results of a timed judgment task indicate that in judging the grammaticality of English sentences with singular reflexives (himself/herself) inside a moved NP or predicate, Chinese learners' error rates were below the chance level. Results of a multiple-choice task, a task with a preceding context and a truth-value judgment task involving pictures indicate that Chinese learners distinguished between ambiguity of antecedence of a reflexive inside a moved NP and no ambiguity of antecedence of a reflexive inside a moved predicate. Results of a truth-value judgment task with English learners of Chinese indicate that they had knowledge of ambiguity of antecedence of ziji inside a moved predicate. These results point to second language learners' access to Universal Grammar, although evidence of L1 effects was found with both Chinese learners of English and English learners of Chinese.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition and Teaching