AdvisorAdamson, H. Douglas
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study aims to formulate a theory of L2 grammar adequate enough to account for the final L2 state. We argued that L 2 I-language was free of L1 properties, the basis of the CHL2 Uniformity Hypothesis (CUH), and that L1-related performance data were effects of the Relativized Transfer Condition (RTC), constituting the L2 performance systems. The English resultatives (Mary painted the house red), available in Mandarin and depictives (John ate the meat raw), unavailable in Mandarin, were used to examine the hypotheses. Nineteen Mandarin speakers of English and nineteen native speakers of English participated in the study. The L2 subjects had lived in the United States for an average of ten years and 5 months at the time of the experiments. The subjects were tested in four experiments: the Guided Production (GP) test, the Clause-combining (CC) test, the Grammaticality Judgment (GJ) test, and the Interpretation (IT) test. Results were processed through t-tests, one-way ANOVA, and factorial ANOVA procedures. Important findings emerged. First, L 2 subjects showed knowledge of both English resultatives and depictives, indistinct from that of the controls in some, but not all, tests. Second, while their knowledge of the canonical constructions resembled that of the controls, L2 subjects were more reluctant to construct resultatives and depictives than the native counterparts in some tests. We attribute such irregularities to the modality of measurements, which affected the L 2 subjects' performance, but not their grammatical knowledge. This speculation was confirmed in experiments (i.e., the CC, GJ, and IT tests), where L 2 subjects, when specifically directed to produce resultatives and depictives, performed just like the controls. We therefore conclude that the final L 2 state coincides with the final state attained by the native speakers. We further claim that it is logical to speculate that the linguistic and acquisitional mechanisms that led to the final L2 state must constitute exactly the same set as the one employed by the native speakers. Therefore, we conclude that the CUH (CHL2 Uniformity Hypothesis) is true of late L 2 speakers. By the same token, we also conclude that the RTC (Relativized Transfer Condition) consists of adult L2 development.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition and Teaching