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EXPLORING THE SOURCE OF VARIABILITY OF L2 PERFORMANCE: THE OVERGENERATION OF NO IN PRENOMINAL MODIFICATION IN JAPANESE

Abstract

One of the most common types of errors that child and adult Japanese language learners produce is the use of no in the modification of nouns. They may use the sequence 'adjective + no + noun' (e.g., takai no hon 'expensive + no + book') when the correct sequence is 'adjective + noun' (e.g., takai hon). The element no has several functions, but typically it is analyzed as a genitive marker (e.g., John no hon 'John + no + book,' John's book). This paper shows that second language Japanese learners' performance varies across tasks (grammatical judgment and interview) as well as within a task (interview) with regard to the use of no. This variability indicates that it may not necessarily be the learners' grammatical knowledge that deviates from the target language norm. This paper suggests non­-automatic (yet to be automatized) retrieval processes of syntactic information of adjectives as possible sources of the variability and presents an experimental method for the investigation of word retrieval processes, along with preliminary findings.

 

How to Cite

Iwasaki, N., (1997) “EXPLORING THE SOURCE OF VARIABILITY OF L2 PERFORMANCE: THE OVERGENERATION OF NO IN PRENOMINAL MODIFICATION IN JAPANESE”, Journal of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching 5, p.14-28.

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Noriko Iwasaki (University of Arizona)

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