Native Like Grammatical Proficiency English Language Essay

In the sphere of 2nd linguistic communication ( henceforth L2 ) acquisition, it has been cardinal issue whether native-like grammatical proficiency is possible beyond critical period, viz. post-puberty.

Believing that worlds ‘ encephalon are “ genetically pre-programmed ” with cognition of linguistic communication, Chomsky ( 1965, 1981 ) postulated a ground-breaking theory of Universal Grammar ( UG ) to explicate how kids get linguistic communication. As a portion of worlds ‘ innate biologically endowed linguistic communication module, UG is “ rich and narrowly constrained in construction and stiff in its indispensable operations ” ( Chomsky 1972 quoted in Aitchison 2008: 107 ) .

Using “ Principles and Parameters ” attack, Chomsky hypothesises that UG consists of invariant rules every bit good as parametric quantities that account for cross-language fluctuation. Principles are cosmopolitan to all human linguistic communications, whereas parametric quantities allow for cross-language fluctuation, which can be set like a light switch that can be turned on or off. Learning a linguistic communication, in this position, means re-setting parametric quantity values in a peculiar manner. Though this predominating attack was widely adopted by linguist for look intoing the implicit in mental representation of L2 scholars, the statement has met with much opposition.

Empirical surveies show that L2 scholars have trouble in geting Chinese wh-questions ( e.g. Chen & A ; Hong 1998 ; Gao 2009 ; Yuan 2006 ; Yuan 2007a ; Yuan 2007b ) . Yuan ‘s ( 2007a, 2007b ) survey, along the line with Hawkins ‘ ( 1997, 2006 ) hypothesis, suggests that the lexical morphological characteristic [ +wh ] encoded in atom Nes used by English and Nipponese talkers to stipulate Chinese wh-questions is for good lacking. This has led to relentless variableness in their acquisition of L2 Chinese wh-questions.

The nucleus of this survey is to understand and to explicate the cause of relentless variableness in L2 acquisition. Specifically, the function of first linguistic communication ( henceforth L1 ) in the acquisition of yes/no inquiries and wh-questions by Chinese L2 scholars of native English talkers will be examined. By revisiting the function of “ parameter-resetting ” in L2 acquisition, this survey adopts a radical attack proposed by Lardiere ( 2008 ) , viz. Feature Reassembly Hypothesis, to look into the development job of L2 scholars.

1.1 Research Topic and Goal

This survey aims to confirm the claim that parametric quantity scene and resetting attack is unequal to turn to issues in L2 acquisition such as developmental phases and relentless variableness. The function of L1 and feature re-assembly on the acquisition procedure of L2 is hence to be located and investigated later in this survey.

A growingA figure of surveies reportedA in the literature of L2 research literature on the failure of L2 scholars to bring forth morphological inflexion associated with the acquisition of functional classs and their characteristics ( such as Lardiere 2008 ; Yuan 2007a, 2007b ) . Question formation, in peculiar has been a really ambitious undertaking for L2 scholars whose L1 inquiries are structured really otherwise. It is argued that L2 acquisition involves calculating out how characteristics should be reassembled into new constellations in the mark linguistic communication ( Lardiere 2005, 2008 ) . Along the line of Lardiere, it is postulated that L2 acquisition is a complex acquisition procedure that goes far beyond the simple parametric quantity “ switch-setting ” .

Based on above impression, this survey intends to lend to understanding of feature-assembly. The chief end of this survey is to attest hypothesis that, instead than parametric quantity scene, it is the characteristics re-assembly that poses troubles to L2 scholars. An empirical survey will be conducted to look into whether native English talkers are able to re-assembly or reconfigure characteristics in their L2 acquisition of Chinese yes/no inquiries and wh-questions.

By look intoing and analyzing the lingua franca of native English talkers, this survey endeavours to capture the nature of L2 Chinese larning job in footings of characteristic re-assembly. On the other manus, attacks that have been adopted along the line of L1 influence, viz. the Full Transfer/Full Access Hypothesis ( Schwartz and Sprouse 1994, 1996 ) and Feature Re-assembly Hypothesis ( Lardiere 2008 ) , every bit good as viing hypothesis the Representational Deficit Hypothesis ( Hawkins & A ; Chan 1997 ) and Interpretability Hypothesis ‘ ( Hawkins & A ; Hattori, 2006 ; Tsimpli & A ; Dimitrakopoulou, 2007 ) will be compared and examined in this survey.

In this paper, I will foremost discourse typology differences between Chinese inquiries and English inquiries, including yes/no inquiries and wh-questions. Following, I will briefly reexamine the L2 acquisition theories related to this survey every bit good as of import surveies have been carried out to look into acquisition of Chinese yes/no inquiries and wh-questions. Finally, I will suggest anticipations based on hypotheses adopted in this survey.

1.2 Features

A characteristic is a set of values and the available options for their realization on lingual elements ( Kibort 2008 ) . Within Minimalist model, Chomsky claims that an cosmopolitan set of lingual characteristics is available as a portion of the worlds biology gift, along with a computational mechanism that constrains the combination and reading of the characteristics.

Chomsky ( 1995 ) claims that characteristics are the venue of parametric fluctuation among linguistic communications. Lexical points are defined as the associations of three sets of characteristics: phonological ( such as Inflectional Class ) , syntactic ( such as Gender, Number and Person ) , and semantic ( such as Tense, Aspect and Polarity ) features. Lardiere ( 2009 ) , consistent with Chomsky ‘s reading, describes that features as the cardinal units that make up the lexical points of linguistic communications.

Lexical and functional elements are hypothesised of as packages of characteristics. It is besides postulated cross-linguistic fluctuation springs from different combination of characteristics in different linguistic communications. Syntactic differences among linguistic communications are determined by points that make up the functional classs, such as C ( Complementizer ) , I ( Inflection ) , and D ( Determiner ) . Each of these points comprises sets of one or more characteristics such as [ A±wh ] and [ A±past ] . In other words, utilizing biologically metaphor, characteristics are the Deoxyribonucleic acid of human linguistic communications, that is, the packages that consisted of “ cistrons ” ( the functional classs ) which determine the construction of linguistic communications ( Goodluck, Liceras & A ; Zobl, 2008 ) .

Explainable and uninterpretable characteristics

Formal characteristics are farther classified into two classs: explainable characteristics and uninterpretable characteristics ( Chomsky, 1995 ) .

Features for Person, Number and Gender of a noun or pronoun are explainable and required for semantic reading. They have a function to play in the semantics of the noun or pronoun, which restrict noun and pronoun indication. The same characteristics appear on a verb, subsidiary or adjectival are uninterpretable and required for formal grounds, such as triping motion. They have no semantic value, as they do non curtail the indication of these classs.

Explainable characteristics survive until logical signifier ( LF ) , whereas uninterpretable characteristics must be checked and deleted during the derivation to forestall clang at interface degree ( i.e. LF ) . In the instance of wh-constructions, an interrogative Category ( C ) has an uninterpretable [ wh ] which needs to be checked and eliminated by LF. The uninterpretable [ wh ] characteristic, acts as investigation, looks down the ‘tree ‘ for the closest component incorporating the same characteristic. If C finds its end, C agrees with it. If the [ wh ] characteristic on question besides has the Empty Category Principle ( EPP ) belongings, the wh-constituent that contains that wh-goal will travel the SpecCP to look into the strong [ wh ] characteristic of C.

Chapter 2 Theoretical Background

During the past decennaries, a important figure ofA surveies of L2 acquisition literature has reported that L2 talkers ‘ proficiency divergeA significantly from native talkers in malice of positive grounds providedA by the L2 input ( e.g. Hawkins andA Chan, 1997 ; Hawkins & A ; Hattori, 2006 ; Lardiere 2008 ; Prevost and White 1999, 2000 ; Tsimpli & A ; Dimitrakopoulou, 2007 ) . Despite the incontestable fact of variableness results in L2 grammars, the drive force behind the scene remains controversial.

It is argued that L2 scholars ‘ initial province influences developmental phases and ultimate attainment of L2 lingual competency. In this survey, hence, I will concentrate on relevant L2 acquisition attacks to turn to and analyze L2 larning jobs at initial province every bit good as developmental phase, in peculiar, refering the acquisition of functional classs and remapping of characteristics associated with the functional classs.

2.1 Beyond Parameter Setting and Parameter Re-setting

Over the past two decennaries, “ Parameter ( rhenium ) scene ” has been used as a metaphor to depict L2 acquisition. This construct seems to offer a promising attack to look into L2 acquisition.

In early plants within productive model, the nature of L2 initial province has been linked to L1 transportation. Full Transfer/Full Access hypothesis ( Schwartz and Sprouse 1994, 1996 ) proposed that L1 parametric quantity values are the get downing point of L2 acquisition.

To travel from the L1 to the L2, scholars will frequently hold to reset bing

parametric quantities or reassign values to them. Failure to make so will intend that

the scholar does non achieve the L2.

( Haegeman 1988 quoted in Lardiere 2008:108 )

This suggests that failure to reset parametric quantity from L1 value to L2 value could take to non-native result. As certain parametric quantity values in L1 may non compatible with those in L2, this poses trouble to L2 scholars traveling through development phases.

Parameter ( rhenium ) puting attack, nevertheless, frequently failed to get by good with some outstanding issues in L2 acquisition. To look into the lack of parametric quantity puting attack, it is worthwhile to take a expression at three facets of L2 acquisition: developmental phases, cross-linguistic fluctuations and relentless variableness ( Choi 2009 ; Lardiere 2008 ) .

Developmental Phases

Language Acquisition Device ( LAD ) is an innate system in human encephalon that facilitates linguistic communication development ( Chomsky 1965 ) . This system provides human encephalon the capacity to do referent-symbol associations ( that is, to build grammar ) in the correspondence to primary lingual informations. UG, a constituent within LAD, consists of 2-layer system: hard-wired rules, which are cosmopolitan and applicable to all linguistic communications ; and partial wired parametric quantities, a finite set of linguistic communication belongingss whose values are “ switchable ” or “ tuneable ” and vary among linguistic communications.

This theoretical account provides a solution to “ the logical job ” of linguistic communication acquisition: input underdetermines end product. This phenomenon states that L2 scholars ‘ end product ( public presentation ) seems to be more complex and sophisticated than is apparent in their lingual input. UG and Principles and Parameters, therefore, could be history for initial province of L2 acquisition.

As shown in above statements, nevertheless, we could detect that UG is ne’er a developmental theory ; it can merely interact with developmental theories. UG does non take to explicate how and why grammar develops in a peculiar manner, and how scholars get linguistic communication cognition. In fact, Chomsky tried to utilize this theory to explicate “ representation job ” of learners-what scholars come to now, what learners grammars are like ( White 2003:37 ) . This suggests that we can non entirely trust on Principles and Parameters approach to look into variableness job in developing L2 system.

Cross-linguistic fluctuations

Variation among linguistic communications is ever equated to different scenes of parametric quantity. In Chomsky ‘s productive model, it is claimed that “ a few alterations in parametric quantities yield typologically different linguistic communication ” ( Chomsky 1981 quoted in Aitchison 2008:111 ) . Consequently Kayne ( 2000:8 ) calculates that “ the figure of independent binary-valued syntactic parametric quantities needed to let for 5 billion syntactically distinguishable grammar is merely 33 ” .

Baker ( 1996:7 ) , in turn toing this issue, provinces:

One might anticipate that more and more parametric quantities comparable

to the Pro-Drop Parameter would be discovered, and that

research workers would bit by bit detect that these parametersaˆ¦

themselves clustered in unarbitrary waysaˆ¦It is obvious to

anyone familiar with the field that this is non what has


Newmeyer ( 2004:196 ) subsequently expressed his concern on the overpowering figure of parametric quantities: “ If the figure of parametersaˆ¦ . is in the 1000s ( or, worse, 1000000s ) , so imputing them to an innate UG to my head loses all gloss of plausibleness. ”

Following the debut of Minimalist Program ( Chomsky 1995, 2001 ) , nevertheless, work is get downing to concentrate on “ characteristic ” instead than “ Principles and Parameters ” attack ( such as Ionin, Ko & A ; Wexler 2008 ; Lardiere 2008 ; Sorace 2000 ) . In this more current theoretical account, characteristics are the venue of parametric fluctuation among linguistic communications. Cross-linguistic fluctuation, expressed by parametric quantities in the yesteryear, is restricted to divergence in the strength value of uninterpretable characteristics. These uninterpretable characteristics are associated with functional classs such as C ( Complementizer ) , I ( Inflection ) , and D ( Determiner ) .

This theoretical account, hence, suggests that linguistic communication fluctuation is in the vocabulary ( Baker 2008 ; Chomsky 2001 ) . Based on this impression, Lardiere ( 2009 ) claims that lexical points that make up functional classs are responsible for the fluctuations of syntactic among linguistic communications.

Persistent Variability in L2 informations

Typically, parametric quantity scene is an “ all or nil ” phenomenon, therefore alterations in parametric quantity puting ssuggestss an disconnected alteration in the lingua franca of L2 scholars ( Kemenade & A ; Vincent 1997 ) .

It is worthwhile to take a expression at “ No Parameter Reseting Hypothesis ” suggested by the surveies of Hawkins & A ; Chan ( 1997 ) , whose survey focused on the acquisition of wh-movement of L2 English by L1 Chinese/French talkers. This survey attributed non-native-like results to the failure of scholars to get the [ wh ] characteristic which is absent in their L1. “ No Parameter Reseting Hypothesis ” claim that parametric quantity resetting is impossible if the functional characteristics are absent in the L1. In other words, ultimate attainment is unaccessible if L2 scholars fail to parametrically separate wh-movement from wh-in-situ linguistic communications, that is, to exchange from L1 weak [ wh ] characteristic strength to L2 strong [ wh ] characteristic strength.

As we know, nevertheless, L2 scholars go through a series of gradual phases in the acquisition procedure of L2, alternatively of immediate alteration. Consequently, Lardiere ( 2008, 2009 ) argues that parametric quantity resetting histories are deficient to capture the nature of the acquisition jobs faced by L2 scholars. In this instance, Feature Reassembly Hypothesis proposed by Lardiere ( 2008, 2009 ) offers a refreshed and critical expression at the parameter-resetting paradigm.

Feature Re-assembly Hypothesis explains the phenomenon of relentless variableness in L2 informations relevant to morphological inflexion. Lardiere challenges and proclaims that parametric choice has underestimated complex larning job of L2 acquisition. L2 acquisition is a procedure of piecing the targetedA lexical points of a 2nd linguistic communication ( L2 ) and it goes beyond the simple “ exchange scene ” . It requires L2 scholars toA ” reconfigure features from the manner these are represented in theA first linguistic communication ( L1 ) into new formal constellations on possiblyA rather different types of lexical points in the L2 ” ( Lardiere, 2009 ) .

2.2 Theory of Initial State and Developmental Stages: FTFA

The significance of L1 transportation has provoked contention on the battleground of L2 acquisition research since early 1990s. Despite the legion surveies that have been carried out over the past decennary, there still remains a degree of uncertainness in the field refering where, how and to what extent L1 influences in the L2 scholars ‘ grammar.

Full Transfer/Full Access ( FTFA ) Hypothesis deduction on initial province and developmental phases of Chinese inquiries acquisition by native English talkers will be examined. Besides, to look into acquisition job beyond initial province in peculiar, despite of FTFA, anticipations of two current viing theoretical accounts, viz. , Interpretability Hypothesis ( Hawkins & A ; Hattori 2006 ; Tsimpli & A ; Dimitrakopoulou 2007 ) and Feature Re-assembly Hypothesis ( Lardiere 2005, 2008 ) will be analyzed on the footing of their different anticipations on L2 acquisition.

Full Transfer Full Access Hypothesis ( Schwartz & A ; Sprouse, 1994, 1996 )

FTFA ( Schwartz & A ; Sprouse 1994, 1996 ) could be interpreted as a theoretical account of “ parametric quantity resetting ” and “ non damage ” . Schwartz & A ; Sprouse ( 1994, 1996 ) posits that L2 scholars start their acquisition with L1 cognition. This is claimed by “ full transportation ” portion of FTFA, meanwhile “ Full Access ” portion claims that L2 scholars have entree to UG when L1 grammar is deficient to suit belongingss of L2 input. These UG resources include new parameter scenes, functional classs and characteristic values ( White, 2003 ) .

“ Full moon Transportation ” portion of this theoretical account describes different get downing point of L1 and L2 scholars: L1 scholars begin with a set of unfixed parametric quantities whereas L2 scholars begin with fixed parametric quantities. This predicts that L2 scholars with different L1s will act otherwise with native talkers in developmental phases. Hence ultimate attainment or full competency of L2 is non predicted in this theoretical account ( Gass & A ; Selinker 2001 ) .


Despite of supported by surveies carried out within Parameter and Principles model ( Yuan 1998 ; Slabakova 2000 quoted in White 2003 ) , FTFA theoretical account does non ever cope good with issue refering L1 influence strength and grade. For illustration, Yuan ‘s ( 2007b ) survey reveals that there is no L1 transportation of the L1 English [ +wh ] characteristic strength in the L2 information. This is compatible with Platzack ( 1996 ) ‘s “ Initial Hypothesis of Syntax ” which predicts that belongingss of the L1 grammar is non available in the L2 initial province. To turn to this issue beyond initial province, farther item will be discussed in following session of Impairment Hypothesis.

2.3 Theories Beyond Initial State

There has been considerable argument that whether uninterpretable characteristics are available to adult L2 scholars. If talkers ‘ L1 has non selected a characteristic for the assembly of lexical points, there are two possibilities predicted for L2 acquisition beyond critical period:

( a ) Failed Functional Features Hypothesis and Interpretability Hypothesis: The inactivated characteristics of L1 are non available to L2 grownup scholars.

( B ) Missing Surface Inflection Hypothesis and Feature Re-Assembly Hypothesis: The characteristic is still available for choice.

In order to mensurate the possibility of using these hypotheses in this survey, farther item will be discussed in following session of this chapter.

2.3.1 Representational Deficit Hypothesis ( RDH )

The Failed Functional Features Hypothesis ( FFFH ) ( Hawkins & A ; Chan 1997 ; Smith & A ; Tsimpli 1995 ) , in Contra to FTFA, is a “ no parametric quantity resetting ” , and “ damage ” theoretical account. This hypothesis postulates that characteristics which determine parametric differences are capable to critical period. FFFH assumes full transportation of L1 in the L2 initial province and predicts that belongingss associated with uninterpretable characteristics which have non been activated in the L1 grammar are unaccessible beyond critical period. This will accordingly present a acquisition job for grownup L2 scholars.

Hawkynss ( 2005 ) subsequently reformulated FFFH and claim that uninterpretable characteristics non selected from the UG during the critical period will vanish after pubescence. Interpretability Hypothesis ( Hawkins & A ; Hattori 2006 ; Tsimpli & A ; Dimitrakopoulou 2007 ) , in line with FFFH, claims that the full resources of UG are unaccessible to adult L2 scholars. Inaccessibility of uninterpretable formal characteristics thence induces larning jobs even at advanced degree of L2 proficiency ( Tsimpli & A ; Dimitrakopoulou 2007 ) .

Such claims for impaired L2 mental representation contrast with Missing Surface Inflection Hypothesis. This survey contributes to the argument by look intoing both kids and grownup L2 informations at different degree of proficiency, reasoning against the point of view that L2 scholars ‘ variable usage of inflexion indicates in syntactic representations damage.


Both Yuan ‘s surveies on acquisition of Chinese inquiries by L1 Nipponese talkers ( Yuan, 2007a ) and English talkers ( Yuan, 2007b ) analyze L2 information on the footing of “ lexical morphological characteristic defect history ” and claim that characteristics of lexical point can non be acquired in L2 acquisition. In other words, in line with Hawkins, Impairment Hypothesis has been adopted in his surveies.

Yuan ‘s ( 2007b ) survey reveals that there is no L1 ( English ) transportation in the L2 acquisition of Chinese wh-questions. However differentA wh-words behave otherwise at different L2 Chinese proficiency degrees. Yuan claims that this is attributed to the dislocations at the lexical morphology-syntax interface and morphosyntax-semantics interface degrees.

Yuan ‘s another survey ( 2007a ) suggests that lexical morphological characteristic [ +wh ] encoded in atom Nes used by Nipponese talkers to stipulate Chinese wh-questions is for good lacking. This has led to relentless variableness in their acquisition of L2 Chinese wh-questions.

However, Yuan ‘s method in his surveies might be deficient to picture the full image of L2 acquisition nature. As grammatical opinion entirely was used in his both surveies, L2 scholars ‘ echt ability might non been examined objectively. Therefore it is worthwhile to re-examine the procedure of L2 acquisition, in peculiar with regard to characteristics remapping, by transporting out a survey with the combination of grammatical opinion undertaking and evoked production undertaking, which would give a closer history of larning procedure.

2.3.2 Missing Surface Inflection Hypothesis

A figure of L2 linguist ( Lardiere 2008 ; Prevost & A ; White 2000 ; Rule & A ; Marsden 2006 ; Schwartz 2002 ) claim that there is a disassociation between morphology and sentence structure, that is, morphology and sentence structure have to be acquired independently. Knowledge of the abstract belongingss of functional classs is claimed to be available in mental representation of L2 scholars. Missing inflexion morphology in scholar ‘s end product can non account for the claim that learners syntactic representational is impaired. The lone job lies in the procedure of manifestation, i.e. from characteristics re-mapping to overt morphological signifiers. This bearing in L2 research is called Missing Surface Inflection Hypothesis ( henceforth MSIH ) .

Feature Re-Assembly Hypothesis

Reacting to Hawkins & A ; Chan ( 1997 ) , Lardiere argues that relentless variableness in L2 acquisition is non caused by deficiency of parameterized formal characteristic, but instead a set of characteristics packages mapped into one signifier, which is much more complicated to get than simple parameter switch-setting.


Some recent surveies ( McCarthy 2008 ; White 2008 ) have suggested that analysing L2 informations utilizing Feature Re-Assembly attack may supply a more practical solution to the issue to of relentless variableness in developmental phase.

Against RDH Hypothesis, McCarthy ( 2008 ) and White ( 2008 ) tested MSIH and argue that none of these hypotheses can to the full account for the L2 informations presented in their surveies. McCarthy suggests “ the venue of the ‘deficit ‘ is non that the scholars do non hold a syntactic representation for gender but instead that it appears to be located in the characteristic representations in the morphological sphere ( McCarthy 2008: 484 ) .

Chapter 3 Syntactic Background and Relevant Studies

This survey to look into L2 acquisition of Chinese inquiries by native English talkers is driven by the fact that these two linguistic communications are typologically different in footings of inquiries formation. The divergence in the L2 grammars of English native talkers at different degrees of proficiency in Chinese is a theoretically appealing issue. It will supply a better apprehension of nature and procedure of L2 acquisition, every bit good as an chance to hold on the construct about acquisition troubles facing L2 scholars, which may be exacerbated by characteristics re-assembly in the lexical points of L2.

From the typological point of position, English and Mandarin Chinese differ in the manner in which a inquiry is formed.

Formation of English yes/no inquiries involves puting a dummy bash or an subsidiary at the beginning of the inquiry so that these grammatical points precede the topic. In wh- questions ( or the alleged wh-questions ) , the wh-words undergoes motion to the sentence-initial place, every bit good as the operation of subject-auxiliary inversion.

Chinese does non hold subject-auxiliary inversion. Wh-Interrogative words stay in the place where they are interpreted, hence the alleged Wh-in-situ. Despite this, Chinese employs clause-final inquiry in inquiries. In Mandarin Chinese, yes-no inquiries are prototypically “ typed ” by the inquiry atom mom whereas wh-questions are “ typed ” by inquiry atom Ne ( Cheng 1991 ) . Likewise, Cheng and Rooryck ( 2000: 2 ) assume that interpolation of wh-particle cheques the Q-feature in C leting the wh-words to remain in situ.

3.1 Yes-No Questions

Yes-no inquiries are interrogatives that can be answered by “ yes, ” such as couple, shi, or “ no, ” such as bu, bu couple, bu shi.

Chinese yes-no inquiries could be expressed in assorted ways. Some earlier syntactic attacks emphasised that there are two ways to organize yes-no inquiries in Chinese: A-not-A inquiry signifiers and the inquiry atom mom. ( Li & A ; Thompson 1979 ; Huang 1991 ; Li 1992 ; McCawley 1994 quoted in Schaffar and Chen 2001 ) .

In other words, Chinese yes-no inquiries can be formed by unifying of a inquiry marker mom at C, and moreover, by no open merge or move to C at wholly, as in A-not-A inquiries. ( Zhang 1997 )

3.1.1 A-not-A inquiry

In Chinese, A-not-A inquiries can be formed by assorted manner: the Verb-not-Verb type, the Adjective-Not-Adjective type, the Auxiliary-Not-Auxiliary type and the Adverb-not-Adverb type.

Verb-not-Verb type

( 1 ) Ta xihuan bu xihuan zhe ben shu?

he like non like this book

Department of energies like this book?

Adjective-Not-Adjective type

( 2 ) Xingjiapo ganjing bu ganjing?

Singapore clean non clean

Is Singapore clean?

Auxiliary-Not-Auxiliary type

( 3 ) Zhangsan hui bu hui lai?

Zhangsan will non will come

Will Zhangsan come?

Adverb-not-Adverb type

( 4 ) Ni zuo shi zixi bu zixi?

You do thing careful non careful

Make you make things carefully?

3.1.2 Yes-No Questions with Particle mom

As assumed in current literature ( Cheng et al. 1996: 63 ; Zhang 1997 ) mom in yes-no inquiries checks the strong characteristic of interrogative C. Zhang ( 1997 ) claims that the uninterpretable [ Q ] of C can be checked by the explainable [ Q ] characteristic of mom.

( 5 ) Ta xihuan zhe ben shu mom?

he like this book Q

Department of energies like this book?

( 6 ) Xinjiapo ganjing mom?

Singapore clean Q

Is Singapore clean?

( 7 ) Zhangsan hui lai mom?

Zhangsan will come Q

Will Zhangsan come?

( 8 ) Ni zuo shi zixi mom?

You do thing careful Q

Make you make things carefully?

3.1.3 Previous Surveies: Yes-No Questions

Chen & A ; Hong ( 1998 ) carried out a survey to look into if L2 acquisition is dominated by UG and L1 within the model of parametric quantity puting. English and Japanese-speaking scholars have been examined based on their public presentation in Preference Task and Restructuring Task on the reading of Chinese A-not-A inquiries. The consequences suggest that UG and parametric quantity scene is operative in L2 acquisition, but L1 influence is non important.

Performance of L2 scholars relied non merely on Head Parameter, but besides on scholars ‘ degree of Chinese proficiency every bit good as A-not-A inquiries classs. Learners have found performed better in V-not-V and Aux-Not-Aux compared to Adj-Not-Adj and Adv-not-Adv type of inquiries. Chen & A ; Hong province that despite scholars are cognizant of syntactic characteristics of each of this classs, there were fewer responses to Adj-Not-Adj and Adv-not-Adv type. In my sentiment, this suggests that characteristic associated with wh-lexical points are responsible for the hold of the acquisition. Hence in this survey, an probe on this type of inquiries will supply more in-depth position within the model of Feature Re-Assembly Hypotheses, in malice of Parameter ( Re ) Puting Hypothesis.

2.2 Wh-Questions

There are three major lingual differences between Chinese wh-questions and English wh-questions.

First, while wh-words in English wh-questions have to travel to condemn initial place, wh-words in Chinese wh-questions remain unmoved, that is wh-words do non undergo open wh-movement, as in ( 9 ) .

Second, there is a optional inquiry atom Ne in Chinese wh-questions, as in ( 10 ) , Cheng ( 2003 ) further explains that in linguistic communications with concluding inquiry atoms, the SpecCP is ever occupied, that is, the rating of force is carried out. This provides the account why wh-words in Chinese do non undergo open motion. Whereas there is no inquiry atom in English wh-questions, wh-phrase motion from its base-generated place to SpecCP is necessary so that the Co could be valued with the specification of force.

Third, wh-words in Chinese wh-questions could be located inside islands, such as Sentential Subjects ( as in 11 ) , Complex NP ( CNP ) ( as in 12 ) , and Adjunct Clause ( as in 13 ) and while English wh-questions does non let wh-words to be extracted from these islands as this would go against Subjacency Principle.

( 9 ) Zhangsan mai-le shenme?

Zhangsan buy-PERF what

What did Zhangsan purchase? ‘

( 10 ) Zhangsan mai-le shenme Ne?

Zhangsan buy-PERF what Q

What did Zhangsan purchase? ‘

( 11 ) [ Shui qu bisai ] bijiao heshi?

Who go competition comparatively appropriate

*Whoi is [ Ti to travel to competition ] more appropriate?

( 12 ) Zhangsan ma-le [ shui xie de shu ] ?

Zhangsan buy-PERF who write DE book

*Whoi did Zhangsan purchase the book [ that ti wrote ] ?

( 13 ) Xiaowang [ yinwei ni zuo le shenme ] Er shengqi?

Xiaowang because you do-PERF what and angry

* Whati is Xiaowang angry about [ because you did ti ] ?

( Adapted from Yuan 2007b )

2.2.1 Previous Surveies: Chinese Simple wh-questions

Yuan ( 2006 ) reveals that all English scholars at different proficiency of Chinese accepted simple Chinese wh-questions with wh-words such as when, where, how and why remain unmoved. Yuan concludes that there is no L1 transportation at initial province. This means, contradicted to the premises of FTFA, L2 Chinese scholars do non show their L1 English parametric quantity scene of [ +wh ] strong characteristic strength in their L2 grammar. “ The Initial Hypothesis of Syntax ” ( Platzack 1996 ) contending that the initial province includes functional classs with all characteristics at default strength, that is weak strength ( quoted in White 2003 ) , seems to be equal to explicate this phenomenon.

However, the same survey besides shows that the Beginner group failed to reject ill-formed Chinese wh-questions, i.e. those with wh-words moved to the sentence initial place. This leaves the image of the initial province remains at a loss, as both FTFA and “ The Initial Hypothesis of Syntax ” are unable to do full anticipations on this assorted consequences.

2.2.2 WH-Questions with Particle Ne

Yuan ‘s ( 2006 ) survey shows that all English scholars at different proficiency degrees of L2 Chinese accept Chinese wh-questions without inquiry atom Ne. Similarly, Intermediate, Post Intermediate, and Advanced groups of L2 Chinese scholars ( native English talkers ) accepted Chinese wh-questions with inquiry atom Ne.

However, the Beginner and Post-beginner groups rejected this sort of wh-questions, bespeaking that rating of Co of Chinese wh-questions by phonetically unfulfilled Ne is preferred by L2 Chinese at novice degrees. This highlights an interesting phenomenon to be investigated: is there any L1 influence at the initial province, and feature re-assembly at post-initial province? Unfortunately, Yuan did non supply farther account to turn to this issue therefore this leaves a spread to make full.

2.2.3 Previous Surveies: Chinese Complex wh-questions

Yuan ‘s ( 2006 ) survey indicates that wh-words with different grammatical maps in Chinese complex wh-questions do non develop in a unvarying manner in L2 Chinese grammars.

Post Beginner and Intermediate group accepted Chinese wh-questions with a wh-argument words ( such as who, what ) inside a Complex Noun Phrase ( CNP ) but rejected wh-questions with a wh-adjunct words ( such as when, where ) in a CNP. Furthermore, none of the scholar groups, including advanced scholars, accepts wh-questions with wh-adverbial words ( such as how, why ) inside a CNP.

For wh-argument words, Yuan ( 2006 ) argues that this is irrelevant to Subjacency Principle and this phenomenon happens simply due to L2 Chinese scholars have mastered the basic construction of wh-questions with an embedded CNP. “ Deactivation ” of Subjacency Principle at post-beginner degree nevertheless, in my sentiment, suggests that L2 scholars have successfully re-assembled characteristics associated to wh-words into their new L2 grammar.

Parodi & A ; Tsimpli ( 2005 ) ‘s Optionality HypothesisA suggested that ‘real optionality ‘ ( unconstrained ) is found in scholars with lower proficiency whereas advanced scholars perform otherwise depending on structure-based belongingss and the morphological profusion of L1 compared to L2. By following this hypothesis, Yuan ( 2006 ) concludes that the variableness in different L2 development phases is due to “ evident optionality ” ( constrained ) of Chinese wh-word how. However, in another paper, utilizing same L2 informations and consequences, Yuan ( 2007 ) attributed the relentless variableness at advanced degree to “ lexical morphological characteristic defect ” history, alternatively of “ evident optionality ” . This besides means he changed his point of view from back uping characteristic re-assembly ( Yuan 2006:160 ) by saying that “ we can non take it for granted that characteristics of lexical points can be acquired by L2 scholars ” ( Yuan 2007 ) .

As old surveies ( such as Hawkins & A ; Chan 1997 ; Lardiere 1998 ; Prevost and White 2000 ; Smith and Tsimpli 1995 ) have focused on the relationship between functional classs and morphological, Yuan has made part by associating the relationship between lexical morphological and sentence structure in his surveies ( 2007a, 2007b ) . This undoubtedlyA is inspirational and motivated for more probe into the acquisition of Chinese inquiries from different angle and position.

Chapter 4 Hypotheses and Predictions

The three theories outlined in Chapter 3, viz. Missing Surface Inflection Hypothesis, Representational Deficit Hypothesis and Feature Reassembly Hypothesis, all make different anticipations for English scholars of L2 Chinese.

4.1 FTFA

Full Transfer/Full Access predicts that native English talkers of L2 Chinese scholars would ab initio reassign their complete cognition of the L1 into the L2 ( full transportation ) but they have entree to UG ( full entree ) and that re-structuring ‘parameter re-setting ‘ is possible.

As discussed in Chapter 2, English is a linguistic communication that requires motion of wh-phrases in syntax whereas wh-phrases stay unmoved in Chinese. In such instance, FTFA predicts that native English talkers would ab initio reassign L1 belongingss on wh-movement ( i.e. belongingss of C and wh-lexical points ) to L2 grammar but would finally get non-movement of wh-words by accessing belongingss in UG. “ Full Entree ” Tells us that it would non enforce any trouble to L2 scholars to get variable looks related to wh-in-situ and inquiries particle A­ma ( obligatory for yes-no inquiries ) and ne ( optional for wh-questions ) .

If English L2 scholars fail to achieve native-likeness in the acquisition of Chinese yes-no inquiries and wh-questions, rating of the issue under an alternate theoretical account will be necessary to better understand the issue.

4.2 Feature Reassembly Hypothesis

Against RDH, it is expected that the findings of this survey will propose that the most ambitious job for scholars does non shack in parametric choice. Alternatively, the L2 scholars whose L1 wh-words are lexicalized otherwise with L2 will confront the trouble to remap these characteristics into a different L2 constellation. This survey adopts Feature-Reassembly attack ( Lardiere 2008 ) is best history to construe L2 acquisition informations.

If the L1 ( English ) and L2 ( Chinese ) portion a same characteristic although it is used in different ways ( e.g. open motion and covert motion ) , it is predicted that L2 scholars will still be able to reassemble the L1 characteristics to utilize in the L2. However, Feature Reassembly does non do any premises sing characteristics of the L2 that are non present in the L1. For illustration, inquiry atom mom as outlined in chapter 2. Hence this will be investigated by the hypothesis of FTFA.

4.3 Research Questions and Method

An empirical survey will be conducted to find whether native English talkers are able to calculate out how to remap relevant characteristics of wh-question buildings into different formal constellations in the L2 Chinese.

The major concern of this survey is whether L1 and characteristic re-assembly play a function in L2 acquisition, and if so, how these factors might lend to different larning results. Research inquiries refering to the research subject are as follows.

Will English L2 scholars of dainty L2 ( Chinese ) like their L1 ( English ) at initial province when they get yes/no inquiries and wh-questions?

If FTFA ‘s premise is right, this survey would be given to turn out if there is any L1 transportation at initial province. Will English-speaking L2 scholars of Chinese value the equivocal Co by ( 1 ) unifying a inquiry atom ( mom and Ne ) into Co, which is adopted by Chinese inquiries or ( 2 ) traveling a wh-phrase to SpecCP, which is adopted by English inquiries?

Will English talking scholars apply their L1 cognition of Subjacency in the acquisition of Chinese wh-questions?

If the native English talkers have job to construe Chinese interrogative looks right, is it relentless ( as predicted by RDH ) , or it will be finally acquirable ( as predicted by Feature Re-assembly Hypothesis ) by advanced Chinese scholars?

In order to capture the nature of Chinese yes-no inquiries and wh-questions by native English talkers, three undertakings will be carried out to prove their reading, that is,

Grammatical Judgement Undertaking: include credence of grammatical and ill-formed Chinese yes-no inquiries and wh-questions to prove L2 scholars ‘ implicit in lingual cognition

Oral Production undertaking: to prove their self-generated production of inquiries based on images

Written Production Task: requires L2 scholars to rearrange scrambled words to organize inquiries in right orders.