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Title: Anaphora and the bilingual
Author: Leigh, Denise
ISNI:       0000 0000 5293 5642
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2002
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Anaphora interpretation is the cornerstone of Binding Theory. But is the bilingual 's interpretation of the anaphora identical to that of the monolingual? And what does this indicate about the number and type of bilingual grammars? To investigate these issues, two sets of experiments were carried out. The pilot was carried out in Oxford, using Oxford students and Japanese studying English in local language schools. The main experiment was carried out in Tokyo using school children and University students (none of them linguists). Subjects were divided into three groups: Anglophones, Japanese monolinguals, and Japanese/English bilinguals. Subjects completed, under controlled conditions, a socio-linguistic questionnaire, and a linguistic questionnaire asking for acceptability judgements of given interpretation of statements containing anaphora or acceptability judgements of statements containing anaphora. The linguistic questionnaires for bilinguals could be presented in Japanese or English. Combined with a priming text (which was in either Japanese or English, the contents of which had no relevance to the linguistic questionnaires) a bilingual could receive one of four different combinations. The two sets of experiments used identical socio-linguistic questionnaires and priming texts. Both used an acceptability scoring system of 1 to 6 and scanner readable data input sheets. The first experiment indicated that for some constructions monolinguals disagreed among themselves and that in most cases the bilinguals followed suite, although there were a number of cases for which the bilinguals' behaviour appeared to be different from that of the monolinguals. The second experiment used the results of the first to enlarge the number of constructions under consideration in the Japanese questionnaire. From the results of the two experiments it appears that bilinguals have separate sets of rules for their two languages. These are similar but not identical to those of their monolingual counterparts. In most, but not all, cases, the differences can be clearly traced to the influence of the second language. Additionally a non-negligible number of constructions, particularly in Japanese, do not behave as expected from the literature. In particular, respondents to the Japanese questionnaire, be they monolingual or bilingual, reject ambiguity. A relatively high degree of inconsistency is found across monolinguals, and an even higher degree of lack of self-consistency across Japanese monolinguals. There appears to be no mainstream grammar of a non-statistical nature capable of explaining all these results. A statistical type grammar would appear to be more adequate. A number of ways are proposed for deepening the research in terms of bilingual.acquistion, Japanese monolinguals' acceptance of ambiguity, etc. as well as in terms of a statistically versus a non-statistically based grammar.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available