Presentation on theme: "Postverbal subjects in L2 English: a corpus-based study ICLC, Santiago de Compostela 19 th September 2005 Amaya Mendikoetxea"— Presentation transcript:
Postverbal subjects in L2 English: a corpus-based study ICLC, Santiago de Compostela 19 th September 2005 Amaya Mendikoetxea Cristóbal Lozano Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
1. The phenomenon Rutherford (1989), Oshita (2004): L1 Spanish – L2 English: …it arrived the day of his departure … And then at last comes the great day. In every country exist criminals …after a few minutes arrive the girlfriend with his family too. Only with unaccusative verbs (never with unergatives). Unaccusatives: arrive, happen, exist, come, appear, live… Explanation: syntax-lexicon interface (unaccusatives)
2. Word order in native English Very restricted: canonical word order SV. Four girls sang Four girls arrived Lexicon-syntax interface (Levin & Rappaport-Hovav, etc): Unaccusative Hypothesis (Burzio 1986, etc) *There sang four girls at the opera. There arrived four girls at the station. Syntax-discourse interface (Biber et al, Birner, etc): Postverbal material tends to be focus (new info) We have complimentary soft drinks and coffee. Also complimentary is red and white wine. Syntax-Phonological Form (PF) interface (Arnold et al, etc) Heavy material is sentence-final (Principle of End-Weight, Quirk): That money is important is obvious. It is obvious that money is important.
3. Word order in native Spanish Lexicon-syntax interface: Syntax-discourse interface: UNERGATIVES: SV A: Qué pasó? B: Un hombre gritó [SV] UNACCUSATIVES: SV A: Qué pasó? B: Llegó un hombre [VS] UNERGATIVES A: Quién gritó? B: Gritó un hombre [VS] UNACCUSATIVES A: Quién llegó? B: Llegó un hombre [VS] Theoretical evidence: Zubizarreta 1998, Casielles-Suárez 2004, Domínguez 2004 Empirical evidence: Hertel 2000, 2003, Lozano 2003, 2006
4. Aim VS order in L1 Spa – L2 Eng… Lexicon-syntax interface : Only with unergatives, or with unaccusatives or both? Syntax-PF interface : Postverbal subject: heavy or light? Syntax-Discourse interface : Postverbal subject: topic or focus?
5. Method Learner corpus: L1 Spa – L2 Eng ICLE Spanish subcorpus (Granger et al. 2002) UAM corpus Query software: WordSmith v. 4.0 (Scott 2004) Statistical software: SPSS v. 12.0
6. Data analysis (1) Based on Levin (1993) and Levin & Rappaport-Hovav (1995): Unergatives: cough, cry, shout, speak, walk, dance…[TOTAL: 41] Unaccusatives: exist, live, appear, emerge, happen, arrive… [TOTAL: 34]
7. Data analysis (2) CONCORDANCES: FILTERING CRITERIA: The verb must be intransitive (unergative or unaccusative). The verb must be finite, active voice. The subject can appear either postverbally (VS) or preverbally (SV). The subject must be an NP. The sentence can be either grammatical or ungrammatical in native English. OTHER FILTERING CRITERIA (TOTAL=28)
8. Result: VS and unaccusativity
9. Examples of production Mostly S-V: The real problem appears when they have to look for their first job. … these people should exist. But many V-S (58 in total): There exist positive means of earning money. So arised the Saint Inquisition. In the main plot appear the main characters: Volpone and Mosca. * …it has appeared some cases of women that have killed their husbands. * …and from this moment begins the avarice. * …and appeared a lot more theatres.
10. Result: VS and specific unaccusative verbs
11. Result: VS and weight HEAVY Against this society drama emerged an opposition headed by Oscar Wilde and Bernard Shaw. …so came the decline of the theatre. Then come the necessity to earn more. LIGHT So arised the Saint Inquisition … …and from there began a fire. Still today … exists the bloody fights.
12. Result: SV and weight HEAVY … the cases of men mistreated do not appear in the media… … a disintegration of culture, tradition and society would begin… … the utopian societies created by the early socialists appeared. LIGHT …but they may appear everywhere. …since the day eventually came… … these people should exist, …
13. Result: VS and discourse FOCUS …there also exists a wide variety of optional channels which have to be paid. So arised the Saint Inquisition. In 1880 it begun the experiments whose result was the appearance of the television some years later. TOPIC …our modern world, dominated by science and technology and industrialisation …because exist the science technology and the industrialisation.
14. Result: SV and discourse TOPIC I use the Internet … I find windows … if they press on any of these windows … these windows cannot appear because a child could enter easily… …the world of drugs: mafias … problems with mafias finished … dangerous people making money … no reason why these people should exist.
15. Summary/Conclusion V unacc NP subj Syntax-discourse…………………………………FOCUS Syntax-PF ………………………………………….HEAVY NP subj V unacc Syntax-discourse……..TOPIC Syntax-PF………………LIGHT V S S V
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Extraposition was discarded NOTE: extraposition discarded: It only remains [ to add that nowadays we live in a world…] It happened [ that the countries which make the weapons are…]
Result: VS and (un)grammaticality UNGRAMMATICAL *Nevertheless, exist other means of obtaining money which are not so honourable, but quicker. *…and from this moment begins the avarice. *On the other hand, it has appeared some cases of women that have killed their husbands… GRAMMATICAL There exist positive means of earning money. At the beginning of the play appear the main characters: Leontes, Hermione and Polixenes. …and here emerges the problem.
Result: VS and (in)definiteness DEFINITE …because later could appear the real evidence and the real guilty. …and usually appears the noble young man that either waste or has wasted his fortune. In the main plot appear the main characters: Volpone and Mosca. INDEFINITE …some decades ago, it appeared a new invent: the television. The play was very well performed and also appeared new elements in the stage. …it has appeared some cases of women that have killed their husbands…
10. Resultados: léxico-sintaxis ¿Qué pasó? Inacusativos (VS): Llegó un hombre Inergativos (SV): Un hombre gritó sign.s.sig n.s.
Length of postverbal subject
Type of VS structures
11. Resultados: sintaxis-discurso ¿Quién llegó / gritó? Inacusativos (VS): Llegó un hombre Inergativos (SV): Gritó un hombre sig n.s. sig
4. VS in native Spanish (1) Hipótesis Inacusativa (interfaz léxico- sintaxis) Inergativos: SVInacusativos: VS
5. VS in native Spanish (2) Foco presentacional (interfaz sintaxis- discurso) Inergativos: VSInacusativos: VS [-interp] [+interp] [-interp]