S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 35 Number 1/4 (1999)
The Initial State of Korean EFL Learner Grammar: A Study of UG Accessibility In a Foreign Language Setting
- Hahn, Hye-ryeong
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.35 No.4, pp. 605-622
- The present study investigates the earliest L2 grammar of Korean English learners. Within the minimalist approach, Ll children's early language acquisition process is understood as a gradual acquisition of functional categories such as IF and CP. Native English children's data show that their earliest sentences are bare projections of VP. Functional categories IF and CP emerge at later stages based on the interaction of UG and Ll input. The present study longitudinally observed the syntactic development of nine Korean learners belonging to three age groups: a preschooler group, a primary schooler group, and a middle schooler group. Irrespective of the learners' starting ages, the earliest multi-word utterances had S-be-X constructions. Later, VP (or SVO) was activated. This earliest S-be-X was analyzed as having a topic-comment framework, which was attributable to the topic-prominence of the learners' Ll Korean. These findings implicate that early language teaching cannot guarantee learning a foreign language in an Ll-like way, purely based on the interaction of UG and the target language input.
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