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Title: Typological universals of relative clauses with reference to Korea as a foreign language
Author: Ju, You-kyung
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis examines the applicability of typological universals of relative clauses, such as the Noun Phrase Accessibility Hierarchy (NPAH; Keenan and Comrie, 1977), to Korean as a foreign language. The NPAH is an implicational hierarchy explaining the cross-linguistic accessibility of different noun functions to relativization. The focus of the experimental investigations is thus on how syntactic and semantic aspects of Korean noun-modifying clauses intersect with the typological universals of relative clauses and whether we can verify the effect of the NPAH on Korean as a foreign language. A series of computer-assisted comprehension and production experiments demonstrated that, first, Korean language learners' performance was significantly affected by multiple factors aside from the NPAH, such as types of relative clauses (RCs), learners' first language (L1) background, and animacy of the head noun. Second, animacy was foregrounded as a salient semantic cue in both processing and producing relative clauses; however, the contribution of RC types and L1 was greater than animacy, implying syntactic primacy over semantic primacy in relativizing different noun functions in Korean. In addition, the effects of the multiple factors are dissimilar in different L1 groups. The results indicate that the Accessibility Hierarchy (AH) of relativized grammatical functions was not found in Korean as a foreign language. The current study therefore proposes that the implicational hypothesis of accessibility to relative clauses is not universal. The significance of the experimental findings on languagespecific characteristics is also discussed with respect to the filler-gap dependency and the argument dependency.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available