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Morphology, derivational syntax and second language acquisition of resultatives

This thesis explores questions of functional morphology in morphosyntactic theory and in second language acquisition. The work develops Emonds' (2000) notion of a Syntacticon as the store of grammatical lexical items in the Lexicon and it explores the interaction between morphology and syntax in syntactic derivation. The focus of the work is the resultative construction (e.g. She painted the table red). As a resultative, the string conforms to a regular syntactic structure and gives rise to an interpretation in which there is an agent that acts upon some object so as to effect some change of state. In this work, resultative formation in English is contrasted with resultative formation in Korean because the latter, but not the former, includes an obligatory functional result morpheme, -key. The proposed analysis of the resultative accounts for both the morphological and syntactic facts in English and Korean. Additionally, traditional notions of subcategorization are developed, using a Feature-based approach in order to explain the lexical restrictions associated with resultatives. The thesis also includes an experimental study of the acquisition of English resultatives by native Korean and Mandarin Chinese speakers. These languages were chosen in order to highlight the mismatch between Korean and English resultative formation in terms of functional morphology. Accepting the Full Transfer/Full Access model of Schwartz and sprouse (1996), the whole of the native language is assumed to transfer to form the initial state of second language acquisition. The results of the experimental study provide support for the claim that functional morphology, like that implicated in Korean resultative formation, transfers from the native language to affect the development of the Interlanguage in second language acquisition.
Date January 2005
CreatorsWhong-Barr, Melinda
PublisherDurham University
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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