Speaking Japanese: L1 and L2 grammatical encoding of case particles and adjectives/adjectival nouns
AdvisorGarrett, Merrill F.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe ultimate objective of this project was to link psycholinguistic theories of sentence production to the study of L2 acquisition. To achieve this goal, two steps were taken: first, some of the specifics of the grammatical encoding processes that occur during L1 Japanese sentence production were investigated; second, L2 Japanese learners' sentence production processes were examined. Because any L2 data that we can observe is necessarily the product of both speakers' underlying knowledge and their capacity to process a language, it is important to investigate language processes in order to fully understand L2 development. I studied two processes of both L1 and L2 speakers: (1) lexical retrieval processes for adjectives and adjectival nouns (both of which roughly correspond to English adjectives, but differ from each other in their morphosyntax), by using tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) experiments; and (2) case particle selection, by examining speech errors (e.g., L1 and L2 errors that occurred during picture description experiments, in addition to naturally occurring L1 errors). L2 Japanese speakers also participated in several other tasks, including tasks that assessed their knowledge of adjectives/adjectival nouns and case particles. It was found that both L1 and L2 speakers of Japanese had access to the word category information of a target adjective or adjectival noun during TOT states. Also, L2 learners' error patterns in a picture description task roughly matched their knowledge of the morphosyntax of adjectives and adjectival nouns. Thus, most of the morphosyntactic errors of adjectives and adjectival nouns were attributed to L2 learners' knowledge, rather than their lexical retrieval processes or processing strategies. However, L2 speakers' self-repairs and verbal reports indicated that some morphosyntactic errors occurred due to processing factors. The examination of L1 case particle errors indicated that L1 speakers may use certain sentence processing strategies, two of which involve use of the nominative marker ga (as default), and the selection of a prototypical case particle for a semantic role of an NP. L2 speech errors revealed that L2 Japanese speakers employ word order based processing strategies during sentence production, and that they may also use prototypical particles for NPs having given semantic roles.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition and Teaching