A Hard Nut to Crack? : English passive structures for Japanese and Chinese learners of English 【Article】
JIDC_06_01_14_Tao.pdf 1.94 MB
This empirical study on passive structures is done comparatively between Japanese and Chinese learn-ers of English. Though both Japanese and Chinese are said to be topic-prominent, it is still necessary tosee whether this typology exerts any different influence on the acquisition of English passive structuresby the two different native language speakers. Differences were found in the ergatives among the threelanguages. English and Chinese differ in that the former has both paired and unpaired ergatives whilethe latter has only the paired ones. Though Japanese has passive marker such as rareru like English, theergative verbs in English may not have the same counterparts in Japanese. Since there is no overt mor-phological marking for the ergatives, it should be difficult for the learners of English. A total of 160senior high school and university students from Hiroshima, Japan and Dalian, China participated in theexperiment. Based on an English proficiency test they took, the participants in Hiroshima and in Dalianare divided into 4 level groups respectively. They then took a judgement test on passive structures.Although the ANOVA test shows that there are significant differences of English proficiency among thelevel groups, the participants were not differ significantly in their judgement about passive structuresunless they were in levels that were far apart (such as level 4 vs. level 1). The study also found that boththe Japanese and the Chinese participants made fewer correct judgement on ergatives than on othertypes of passive structures. The result supported the hypothesis that passives with ergatives are more dif-ficult for both the Japanese and the Chinese learners of English.
Journal of International Development and Cooperation
|date of issued||
Departmental Bulletin Paper
Departmental Bulletin Papers
Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation