Crosslinguistic influence on English and Chinese L2 speakers’ conceptualization of event series

Show simple item record Tang, M en Vanek, Norbert en Roberts, L en 2020-09-28T21:34:14Z en 2020-09-28T21:34:14Z en 2020-08-05 en
dc.identifier.citation International Journal of Bilingualism 25(1):205-223 05 Aug 2020 en
dc.identifier.issn 1367-0069 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract Aims and objectives/purpose/research question: The expression of event series varies across languages in intriguing ways. One key difference is that in some linguistic systems, such as Chinese, events can be tightly sequenced using serial verb constructions (SVCs), for example, qù kāi mén ‘go open door’. Linguistic systems with this property are known as serializing, and those without it, such as English, as non-serializing. This paper explores whether second language (L2) learners with a serializing first language (L1) conceptually transfer tight L1-based event serialization patterns into their non-serializing L2, and, if L2 learners with a non-serializing L1 acquire tight SVC-modulated event serialization in the L2. Design/methodology/approach: To investigate this, a task was created to estimate temporal distances between events on a time axis. Participants were asked to circle two numbers on the axis (0 = far past, 9 = far future) based on their understanding of when two events expressed by two verbs in each stimulus sentence happen. Data and analysis: Results showed that Chinese learners of English estimated significantly shorter temporal distances between multiple events in English SVC-like sentences compared to English natives. Tighter temporal sequencing in L2 English is interpreted as L1-based conceptual transfer of event serialization patterns. In the opposite direction, English learners of Chinese marked events in Chinese SVCs as significantly further apart than did Chinese natives, also showing that their event serialization is L1-based. Originality: This study demonstrates for the first time crosslinguistic influence on the conceptual level in the domain of event serialization. Significance/implications: The reported findings inform L2 acquisition research by providing empirical support for the idea that L1-based event serialization patterns influence how L2 learners conceptualize event distances, and this holds in both directions, from a serializing to a non-serializing language as well as vice versa. en
dc.publisher SAGE Publications en
dc.relation.ispartofseries International Journal of Bilingualism en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
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dc.title Crosslinguistic influence on English and Chinese L2 speakers’ conceptualization of event series en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1177/1367006920947174 en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The authors en en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.subtype Article en
pubs.elements-id 809891 en Arts en Cultures, Languages & Linguist en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2020-08-07 en 2020-08-05 en

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