Quantifier scope in non-native Japanese : a comparative interlanguage study of Chinese-, English- and Korean-speaking learners
This thesis investigates native language (L 1) influence and innate linguistic
knowledge (i.e., Universal Grammar) in non-native language (L2) acquisition by
means of a comparative interlanguage study of quantifier scope interpretation in L2
Japanese, by adult native speakers of English, Chinese. and Korean. The phenomena
1. the availability of object-wide scope in sentences with an existentiallyquantified
subject and universally-quantified object (e.g., ,)'omeone read every
11. the availability of a pair-list reading in questions with evel),one as the subject
and what as the object (e.g., What did everyone huy?).
Picture-sentence match tasks are developed to investigate these two phenomena in
native Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean, as well as in English/Japanese
Chinese/Japanese and Korean/Japanese interlanguage. The native experimental data
confirm that, with respect to (i), the object-wide scope interpretation ("for each book,
someone read if) is readily available in English but not in Japanese. Chinese, or
Korean; and with respect to (ii), a pair-list answer (e.g. Sam bought apples, Jane
bought pears, Sue bought ... ) is readily available in English. Chinese and Korean, but
not in Japanese.
These cross-linguistic differences are exploited in the investigation of two
main predictions based on Schwartz & Sprouse's (1994. 1996) Full Transfer/Full
Access model of L2 acquisition: (1) the L2 learner groups will show divergent
development with respect to Japanese scope interpretation due to the distinct scope
interpretation possibilities in their respective LIs; (2) advanced L2 learners of
Japanese will demonstrate native-like knowledge of quantification phenomena even
under severe poverty of the stimulus, due to L2 acquisition being constrained by UG.
The results support both predictions. On the basis of these findings. it is concluded
that both the L 1 and UG are privileged sources of knowledge in the L2 acquisition of
phenomena at the syntax-semantics interpretive interface.