Examining Japanese EFL Learners' Sensitivity to Unaccusative Verbs through Animation-based Acceptability Judgment and Composition

Kazuharu Owada
2017 Journal of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics  
Owada, K. (2017). Examining Japanese EFL learners' sensitivity to unaccusative verbs through animation-based acceptability judgment and composition. Journal of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics, 21(2), 55-71. There are some English verbs that can be used both intransitively and transitively. Verbs such as break, close, and melt can appear in intransitive active, transitive active, and passive constructions. Although native English speakers know in what kind of context a target verb
more » ... ntext a target verb is used in a certain construction, previous studies have shown that EFL learners, including Japanese learners of English (JLEs), face difficulties in choosing the appropriate construction of these verb types. The purpose of this paper is two-fold. First, I examined JLEs' sensitivity to the transitivity of such English verbs by using an animation-based acceptability judgment test. This examination was in comparison with some native English speakers (NESs). Second, I investigated which construction of such verbs JLEs tend to use in an animation-based composition test. The results of this study suggest the following: (1) In the animation-based acceptability judgment test, JLEs accepted the passive more than the NESs did in some contexts with the exception of fall, and (2) in the animation-based composition test, JLEs preferred to use the intransitive of fall and the transitive of drop.
doi:10.25256/paal.21.2.4 fatcat:cxhuhscakbcfrdqdlx67apq2qq