본문 바로가기
  • Home

Syntactic and Prosodic Constraints on Focus Identification in Language Acquisition

  • 인문논총
  • 2017, 44(), pp.187-212
  • Publisher : Institute for Human studies, Kyungnam University
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Published : October 31, 2017

Kim, Soyoung 1

1동명대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The study aims to investigate how Korean learners of English identify focus in a dative construction (subject+verb+NP+PP) containing only(located between a verb and direct object NP) constrained by syntactic and prosodic information. Focus identification in sentences containing only has been claimed to be constrained by the c-command principle, that is, the constituents in the c-commanding domain of only can be focused. Prosodic information such as pitch accents, stress, intonation is also said to be integrated into the process of focus determination. In contrast to active previous studies that explored how 4- to 6-year-old English-speaking children used such syntactic and prosodic information in focus determination, there has been little research from L2 acquisition perspectives. To fill the gap, the current study attempted to reveal intermediate knowledge of Korean learners of English on syntactic and prosodic constraints, using three types of experimental sentences; sentence type 1 with postverbal only before NP+PP; sentence type 2 with a stress on PP; sentence type 3 with postverbal only and a stress on PP. In a sentence verification task, the Korean learners of English were found to consistently make use of a syntactic cue of only, thus associating it with NP. It also revealed that they were able to use prosodic information to make a stressed PP as a focused constituent. Lastly, they were found to prefer to use the syntactic constraint although prosodic information was apparently provided. It indicates that the c-command constraint plays an important role in their process of focus identification. The results can be further discussed in relation to L2 acquisition processing and English education.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.