General programme, activity sheet

Saturday 9 September, 2017 16:30 to 17:00

Oral presentation

Acquiring the Telicity Constraint in L2 Chinese Passives without Positive Evidence

Speaker: Ruyi Dai, University of Cambridge
Speaker: Boping Yuan, University of Cambridge

Authors: Ruyi Dai and Boping Yuan

This empirical study probes the L2 acquisition of the telicity constraint in Chinese passives by adult English native speakers. Unlike English, Chinese 'bei' passives are incompatible with atelic events and must describe events with an endpoint (Liu, 2012). The aim of the study is to test whether L1 English L2 Chinese learners can identify violations caused by atelic events. In total, 75 English native speakers with intermediate and advanced Chinese proficiency, and 33 native Mandarin Chinese speakers participated in an untimed Acceptability Judgement task and a reaction-time Picture Elicited Rearrangement task. Results suggest that given prolonged exposure to the target language, learners are indeed able to acquire the telicity constraint of 'bei' passives, despite the absence of positive evidence in the input. The gradualness of the disappearance of overgeneralization errors lends support to the acquisition model that reconciles the generative approach with probabilistic learning (Yang & Montrul, 2017).

Further information:

L2 acquisition - Session VI

Other activities in L2 acquisition - Session VI

15:00 h. to 15:30 h.

Oral presentation

Phenomenon-Specific Sentence Processing in Native Speakers and Language Learners

Speaker: Marina Sokolova, University of Southampton

16:00 h. to 16:30 h.

Oral presentation

Native-like strategies in English speakers’ L2 processing of Chinese base-generated-topic sentences

Speaker: Boping Yuan, University of Cambridge

15:30 h. to 16:00 h.

Oral presentation

Language distance and phenomena complexity: influencing factors for the reassembly process? Evidence from Spanish as L2 among learners of different L1 backgrounds

Speaker: Jessica Diebowski, Bergische Universität Wuppertal
Speaker: Tim Diaubalick, Bergische Universität Wuppertal / Universitat de les Illes Balears