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《Linguistic Sciences》 2017-06
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The Acquisition of the Binding Properties of English Reflexives by Chinese-speaking Learners

Wu Mingjun;School of Foreign Languages,Chongqing Technology and Business University;  
This paper reports on an empirical study programed with E-prime on the acquisition of the binding properties of the English reflexives by Chinese-speaking learners. The results showed that L2 learners,like the native speakers,disallowed the object antecedent and exhibited strong subject orientation in the monoclausal sentences. However,there were statistical differences between them and the native speakers in all the biclausal sentences. With the increase of proficiency,they made significant improvement in licensing subject antecedents,rejecting the long-distance antecedent in the biclausal sentences with finite embedded clauses and allowing the local antecedent in the biclausal sentences with nonfinite embedded clauses. Some learners transferred to the target language the characteristics of their native language that prominence overrides locality.Thus,they bound the reflexives embedded in the nonfinite clause to the subject in the matrix clause,an antecedent outside the local domain. Furthermore,the competition between prominence and locality gave rise to optionality,variability and indeterminacy when L2 learners rejected the long-distance binding.
【Fund】: 教育部人文社会科学研究青年基金项目(15YJC740126)资助
【CateGory Index】: H319.3
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