This article investigates the acquisition of NSs in (radical pro-drop) Chinese by learners whose native language is (non pro-drop) English, henceforth ELs, working within the ‘Topic Chain’ information-structural approach. Our main goal is to verify whether learner’s proficiency level can have an impact on the interpretation and acceptability of embedded NSs when more than one head is proposed for the relevant Topic chain, in different structural contexts (i.e., complements of bridge and factive verbs). The results of a pilot experimental test suggest that the requirement for a Minimal Overt Link (MOLC) in the relevant chain plays an important role for ELs with a lower proficiency level. Conversely, MOLC restrictions do not affect ELs with a higher proficiency. Furthermore, the results show that ELs can correctly distinguish between complements of bridge and factive verbs already at an HSK3 level. As for interpretation, results suggest that contextual information cannot supersede structural constraints for ELs. However, since a clash with contextual information seems not to affect acceptability for ELs, contrary to CNSs, we propose that even HSK5 students have not fully acquired the competence for the managing of NSs in a radical language like Chinese.

Frascarelli, M., Carella, G., Casentini, M. (In corso di stampa). Null Subject Acquisition in L2 Chinese Speakers: The Impact of Competence. A Case Study on English L1 Speakers. CHINESE AS A SECOND LANGUAGE RESEARCH, 12 [10.1515/caslar-2012-0001].

Null Subject Acquisition in L2 Chinese Speakers: The Impact of Competence. A Case Study on English L1 Speakers

Mara Frascarelli
Conceptualization
;
Giorgio Carella
Methodology
;
Marco Casentini
Formal Analysis
In corso di stampa

Abstract

This article investigates the acquisition of NSs in (radical pro-drop) Chinese by learners whose native language is (non pro-drop) English, henceforth ELs, working within the ‘Topic Chain’ information-structural approach. Our main goal is to verify whether learner’s proficiency level can have an impact on the interpretation and acceptability of embedded NSs when more than one head is proposed for the relevant Topic chain, in different structural contexts (i.e., complements of bridge and factive verbs). The results of a pilot experimental test suggest that the requirement for a Minimal Overt Link (MOLC) in the relevant chain plays an important role for ELs with a lower proficiency level. Conversely, MOLC restrictions do not affect ELs with a higher proficiency. Furthermore, the results show that ELs can correctly distinguish between complements of bridge and factive verbs already at an HSK3 level. As for interpretation, results suggest that contextual information cannot supersede structural constraints for ELs. However, since a clash with contextual information seems not to affect acceptability for ELs, contrary to CNSs, we propose that even HSK5 students have not fully acquired the competence for the managing of NSs in a radical language like Chinese.
Frascarelli, M., Carella, G., Casentini, M. (In corso di stampa). Null Subject Acquisition in L2 Chinese Speakers: The Impact of Competence. A Case Study on English L1 Speakers. CHINESE AS A SECOND LANGUAGE RESEARCH, 12 [10.1515/caslar-2012-0001].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/423470
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