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ERIC Number: ED491511
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-May
Pages: 20
Abstractor: Author
Second Language Relative Clause Acquisition: An Examination of Cross-Linguistic Influences
Chang, Yuh-Fang
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (Portland, OR, May 1-4, 2004)
English is a Right Branching Direction (RBD) language in which relative clauses appear to the right of the head noun. In contrast, Chinese primarily relies on a Left Branching Direction (LBD) in which relative clauses premodify the head. Many studies have provided evidence that the differences in principal branching directions between the two languages often cause difficulties in acquiring complex syntax (e.g., Flynn, 1984; Flynn and Espinal, 1985). However, most studies concerning the cross-linguistic influences in relative clause acquisition compare English with languages other than Chinese. Little research has been done to investigate the extent to which the relative clauses produced by Chinese learners of English are influenced by the difference in branching direction. The purpose of the present study is to analyze and describe the difficulties that Chinese learners of English encounter in acquiring the relative clauses. A total of 237 English-major freshmen participated in the study. One written composition from each participant was collected. In addition, a 44-item-multiple-choice test on relative clauses was administered. Data were analyzed in terms of: 1) the total number of relative clauses in each pattern, and 2) the number of errors produced in each pattern of relative clauses. Evidence of cross-linguistic influence was found in both areas. (Contains 8 tables.)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A