S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 39 Number 1/4 (2003)
Referentiality Effect of Noun Phrases in the Acquisition of Relative Clauses in English
- Kweon, Soo-Ok
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.39 No.3, pp. 597-611
- Although there is abundant research on the rule-based linguistic knowledge of second language learners, little attention has been paid to the psycholinguistic aspects of second language acquisition such as sentence processing. In the current study, I take an alternative view to the rule-based perspectives by examining whether there is any difference in the parsing mechanisms between native speakers and second language learners. The processing strategies of native speakers and learners are compared with respect to the processing of relative clause (RC) attachment ambiguities with a complex NP head. RC attachment preferences are distinguished by the referentiality in terms of the presence/absence of a definite article and the contrast of prepositions between of and as. Korean learners of English were asked to choose a preferred head of a RC on a written questionnaire. Results from two experiments show that while reponses
from native speakers and learners diverged in one test, where referentiality was differentiated by the definite article, they converged in the other test, where a prepositions were a distinguishing factor. One of the potential sources of explanation of this discrepancy is based on the different syntactic categories between the two factors.