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母语为汉语的大学生英语空主语和空宾语习得研究

时间:2016-06-26 18:44来源:硕士论文作者:lgg 点击:
Many researchers studying on both L1 and L2 acquisition show their enthusiasms about the pro-drop phenomenon which has become a heated topic. The following will discuss empirical studies on null subjects in SLA.
Chapter One Literature Review 
 
1.1  Theoretical Concepts 
In  this  section,  the  Universal  Grammar  and  language  acquisition  are  firstly accounted for. Although UG is originally proposed by Chomsky (1976) to cope with some  issues  concerning  L1  acquisition,  lots  of  scholars  have  applied  it  to  L2 acquisiotn within the generative paradigm. Secondly, pro-drop parameter, as one part of  UG,  is  introduced  and  its  effect  on  L2  acquisiton  is  also  elaborated.  Thirdly, parameter-setting in L1 and resetting in L2 is stated. First  of  all,  many  researches  on  the  acquisition  of  the  first  and  the  second languages  are  involved  in  UG  and  it  mainly  answers  those  basic  questions  about human  language  such  as  what  does  the  human  language  consist  of  and  how  is  it acquired  and  put  into  practice.  Chomsky  (1976)  characterizes  UG  the  system  of principles  and  parameters  which  is  hypothesized  to  be  innate  by  human,  thus  the children, under some certain conditions, can acquire language easily within a short time.  In  another  word,  UG  comprises  a  set  of  universal  rules  for  all  human languages, like a principle of structural dependency: a parameter must be set if one wants to acquire some language, such as the null subject parameter. Then, based on this  basis,  the  theory  of  UG  is  intimately  correlated  with  a  theory  of  the  first language  acquisition.  Human’s  language  partly  originates  from  an  innate  universal grammar,  which  contains  principles  and  parameters  that  control  grammars  in different  ways.  The  principle  and  parameters,  once  triggered  by  some  languange input and learner’s  environment, can constitute core  grammar  which is  grasped by learner  to  acquire  his  or  her  first  languge  quickly.  More  apparently, language-specific  rules  are  learnt  by  learners  according  to  their  experience.  It  is these rules that make up their peripheral grammar. 
.......
 
1.2 Empirical Studies on Null Subjects and Null Objects in SLA 
Many  researchers  studying  on  both  L1  and  L2  acquisition  show  their enthusiasms about the pro-drop phenomenon which has become a heated topic. The following will discuss empirical studies on null subjects in SLA. From the 80s of the 20th century on, many researchers have been engaged on the  study  of  this  aspect.  For  example,  Phinney  (1987)  compare  L1  Spanish,  L1 Japanese with  L2 English, while other scholars have focused on the study  on how English  speakers  learn  Spanish  and  French.  White  (1985)  has  compared  Spanish with Vietnamese. As for studying null subject’s acquisition in L2 English learning, many researchers study this issue from different perspectives. Some have done this within  the  Principle  and  Parameters  theory.  Some  have  done  this  within  the framework of the morphological uniformity principle, some within the framework of the minimalist program. Compared with researches on null subjects in English as a foreign  language,  researches  on  null  objects  are  less.  There  are  still  some  scholars such  as  Gundel  et  al(1984),  White(1986),  Eve(2008),  etc.  focusing  on  null  objects study.  Furthermore,  some  scholars  abroad  such  as  Zobl  (1994),  Yuan(1997), Park(2004), Tuijnman(1998),etc. attach much more importance to null subjects and null objects  study meanwhile.  Luckily in  recent  years, some domestic scholars are interested  in  either  null  subjects  or  null  objects  or  both,  including  Yuan(1997), Kong(1998,2001,2005,2007), Yang Qian(2008), Liu Aijuan and Dai Manchun(2009), Zhang Yan(2010), Guo Yang (2012), Wang Yuehua &Yu Shanzhi(2012)., Chang Hui (2014), etc. In this section, some main overseas and domestic studies are presented in greater detail. 
.........
 
Chapter Two Research Methodology 
 
This  chapter  mainly  introduces  the  methodology  adopted  in  the  present  study. During  the  empirical  investigation,  three  instruments,  namely  composition  test, grammatical judgment test and translation test, have been manipulated.   
 
2.1 Research Questions 
1. When Chinese college students acquire null subjects and null objects, are there some asymmetries  not only  in null subjects  and  null objects, but also  in  null matrix subjects  and  null  embedded  subjects,  in  null  matrix  objects  and  null  embedded objects? 2.  What  parts  do  the  UG  and  L1  play  in  the  L2  acquisition?  If  they  play important  roles,  what  kinds  of  special  effects  do  they  have  on  acquisition  of  null subjects and null objects? Some scholars reckon that L1 transfer plays a critical role in the  acquisition  of  L2.  Others think L1 transfer’s role is very limited. The English language  and  the  Chinese  language  have  different  pro-drop  parameters  and  while Chinese  college  students  are  learning  English  as  L2,  are  they  influenced  by  L1 transfer or governed or bounded by UG? 3. Can the argument’s position in matrix or in embedded sentences and Chinese college  students’  proficiency  in  English  composition  affect  them  to  acquire  null subjects and null objects in English L2 learning? 
.........
 
2.2 Subjects 
In this research, there are 148 subjects in total involved, including 55 freshmen majoring  in  non-English,  58  seniors  majoring  in  non-English  and  35  postgraduates majoring in English. Their native language is Chinese. The freshmen did not take part in College English Test 4(CET4). The seniors have passed CET-4 in the second or the third  year  and  the  post  graduates  are  from  Grade1  and  Grade  2.  According  to  their learning time and level, they can be divided into three groups. They are freshmen (55), seniors (58) and postgraduates (35). 
......
 
Chapter Three Results and Discussions ........ 27 
3.1 Experimental Results ..... 27 
3.2 Discussions .... 41 
3.2.1 Different Features in L1 and L2 Affecting the Usage......... 43 
3.2.2 L1’s Transfer and Role of UG ..... 45 
Chapter Four Pedagogical Implications and Limitations ........... 47 
4.1 Pedagogical Implications ....... 47 
4.2 Limitations ..... 49 
 
Chapter Four Pedagogical Implications and Limitations 
 
According to the research results, as is well known that it is a gradual process for L1  Chinese  college  students  to  acquire  English  null  arguments  and  the  English  null parameters are reset through the interaction between their native language and target language parameters. Neither UG nor native language grammar can get access to the L2 acquisition alone, but these two factors affect each other and play an equal role in this course. Meanwhile, null English expletive subjects can trigger L2 learners to reset their  target  language  parameters,  but  they  cannot  get  this  by  an  action,  thus  even instructors  can  teach  all  the  knowledge  of  grammar  in  their  target  language  at  once during the course, the learners still need time and enough practice to acquire the right parameters. Hence, in order to guide the future research and the learners to acquire L2 English better, this chapter mainly dwells on some pedagogical implications and the limitations of this present empirical study. 
 
4.1 Pedagogical Implications  
Generally  speaking,  Chinese  children  and  adults  learn  English  mainly  from textbooks in tradition and they just regard all kinds of oral and written practice as the cultivation  of  communicating  competency.  Actually  their  strategic  abilities  are neglected.  Therefore,  the  findings  in  this  study  can  provide  some  pedagogical suggestions to teach and learn English.  Firstly,  the  different  Principle  and  Parameters  about  subjects  and  objects  in between  Chinese  and  Englsih  can  guide  Chinese  college  students  to  form  a  certain learning strategy and tutors to form a certain teaching strategy. When learning English, students can compare their L1 with L2 in the use of subjects and objects consciously. Likewise,  tutors  in  China  may  make  a  contrastive  analysis  on  the  subjects  and  the objects  between  English  and  Chinese  to  make  learners  realize  some  structural knowledge existing in English while not in Chinese and vice versa. Thus students can realize  some  uses  about  subjects  and  objects  are  right  in  Chinese  while  wrong  in English, the distinct knowledge can benefit them a lot when acquiring L2. Meanwhile, tutors should provide students with sufficient positive input deliberately to address the right use of subjects and objects in L2, hence help them to effectively eliminate errors in their interlanguages and acquire L2 successfully.  
.........
 
Conclusion 
 
The  experiments  above  are  designed  to  study  Chinese  college  students’  (with different  English  level)  acquisition  of  null  subjects  and  null  objects  in  English.  The findings  in  composition  support  Chang  Hui  and  Guo  Yang  (2014).  The  college students’ levels  in English affect  their usage of subjects  and objects.  Although three groups of subjects have a high percentage of usage in subjects and objects, the lower level subjects have a significant difference. With their English proficiency increased, they  will  use  less  null  subjects  and  null  objects.  However,  there  is  no  asymmetry between null subjects and null objects. Meanwhile, the expletive subject can be used as a trigger in changing their native language’s parameter into their second language parameter.  It  is  proposed  that  the  expletive  subject  can  remind  Chinese  college students  quickly  of  the  necessity  of  subjects  in  English.  Likewise,  the  argument’s nature  and  position  have  no  significant  effect  on  Chinese  college  students  refusing null arguments, but affect them to use subjects and objects. That is, matrix sentences use  more  arguments  than  embedded  sentences,  the  animate  subjects  used  are  more than non-animate ones and the non-animate objects are more than animate ones. In  the  grammaticality  judgment  and  translation  tests,  the  results  support  Yuan (1997) that three groups of subjects have an asymmetry in rejection of null subjects and null objects. The subjects have more difficulty in rejecting ungrammatical objects than ungrammatical subjects. There is also an asymmetry in rejection of null objects in  matrix  sentences  and  that  in  embedded  sentences  support  Wang  Yuehua  (2009), more  specifically,  the  college  students  have  a  better  performance  in  rejecting  null objects than that in embedded sentences. 
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