Friday 8 September, 2017
Intervention meets transfer in raising constructions
Speaker: Noriko Yoshimura, University of Shizuoka
Authors: Noriko Yoshimura & Mineharu Nakayama
This study explores whether Japanese-speaking learners of English show intervention effects coupled with transfer effects when they comprehend English raising constructions with an experiencer. A truth value judgment task questionnaire was conducted on the comprehension of four raising sentence types with a lexical experiencer, fronted and in-situ, and with a pronominal experiencer, fronted and in-situ. The results from 67 participants revealed that intervention effects were the strongest with the lexical experiencer in-situ, but the intervention by the pronominal experiencer in-situ was not divergent from that by the fronted lexical experiencer. Furthermore, the raising structure with a fronted pronominal experiencer remained difficult to comprehend even as their English proficiency improved. We attribute this unexpected difficulty to the absence of overt pronouns like English he in Japanese. We conclude that this is indeed a case in which Japanese L2 English learners encounter L1 transfer effects as well as intervention effects.
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