Linguistic Factors Influencing Acceptability Judgements of English Resultative Construction for Japanese Learners of English
Second language acquisition
The present study investigated linguistic factors which influence acceptability judgements of English resultative construction for Japanese learners of English (henceforth, JLE). Resultative construction (henceforth, resultatives) can be broadly classified into two types: weak resultatives and strong resultatives (Washio, 1997). In weak resultatives, the main verb is always transitive and entails the final state of an event, while in strong resultatives, the main verb may be transitive or intransitive and does not necessarily entail the final state of an event. It has been observed that English allows both weak and strong resultatives while Japanese allows weak resultatives only. However, it remains unclear whether and how the difference between the two languages in the use of resultatives influences the acquisition of this construction. Here, we used an acceptability judgement task with pairs of pictures, and analyzed the data using one-way ANOVA followed by a multiple comparison test. Participants were composed of 28 JLE (university students all of whom majored in English) and 10 native English speakers. They were shown a pair of pictures with multiple test sentences in English. Using a 7-point scale they responded how natural they felt each sentence was. The task included 136 test sentences of which 24 were resultatives and 112 were distractors. We found the following three factors influenced acceptability judgement of resultatives for the JLE: (i) whether the main verb entails a change of state or not; (ii) whether the main verb is transitive or intransitive; and (iii) whether the resultative predicate is a prepositional phrase or an adjectival phrase. In conclusion, the results of this research suggest that it may be pedagogically necessary to pay attention to comparative characteristics of both English and Japanese, some of which can be attributed to Talmy’s typological differences between a Satellite-framed language and a Verb-framed language (Talmy, 2000).
広島大学大学院教育学研究科紀要. 第二部, 文化教育開発関連領域