The acquisition of Korean plural marking by native English speakers
Hwang, Sun Hee
This study investigated the L2 acquisition of Korean plural marking by English-speaking learners within a feature-reassembly approach--a formal feature-based approach suggesting that native-like attainment of L2 morphosyntactic knowledge is determined by whether learners can reconfigure the formal features assembled in functional categories and lexical items in the L1 to those of the L2 (Lardiere, 2009). The Korean plural marker -tul shares some features with the English plural marker -s, but not others, especially regarding specificity, numeric vs. non-numeric quantification, classification, and human animacy. Moreover, Korean has another type of plural marker (also -tul) that attaches to various non-nominal elements to indicate a distributive reading. The difference in the specification of features in the plural lexical items of each language requires learners to reconfigure the relevant features, which can be modeled within a feature-reassembly approach. The two main objectives of this study are: (i) to characterize the learning task for L1 English - L2 Korean learners based on the cross-linguistic variation in number marking between the L1 and L2; and (ii) to investigate whether native-like attainment of both types of Korean plural marking is possible.85 adult English-speaking learners at four proficiency levels (low-intermediate, high-intermediate, low-advanced, advanced) and 31 native Korean speakers performed five types of paper-and-pencil tasks--elicitation, acceptability judgment, preference, truth value judgment, and translation. The overall group results showed gradual development with increasing proficiency, but non-target-like performance lingered among several advanced learners. However, at least some highly proficient learners successfully incorporated required features such as specificity, non-numeric vs. numeric quantification, and distributivity into their representation of Korean plural marking. The [±human] feature restriction was not acquired by most participants even at advanced levels of proficiency.These findings suggest that identifying the relevant features and reassembling them into language-specific lexical items is difficult but nonetheless eventually attainable for some learners. The feature-reassembly approach sheds light on persistent L2 learning problems in morphosyntactic domain, correctly predicting both the obstacles and ultimate acquirability of Korean plural marking.
MetadataShow full item record
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
L2 acquisition of number marking: a bidirectional study of adult learners of Korean and Indonesian Lee, Eunji (Georgetown University, 2015)This study investigates the L2 acquisition of the Korean and Indonesian number systems by adult learners in light of the Feature-Reassembly Approach (henceforth FRA, Lardiere 2009). In considering this approach, Montrul ...