A Corpus-based Analysis of The Relativizer That in L1-Thai Speakers’ Interlanguage

By Supakorn Phoocharoensil.

Published by The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies

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Published online: September 4, 2015 $US5.00

This research study is focused on the use of the relativizer "that" occurring in authentic learner English. The data, collected from Thai Learner English Corpus (TLEC), indicated that the majority of the relative clauses (RCs) beginning with "that" functioned as a relative pronoun rather than a relative adverb. In terms of the order of difficulty of RC types, the most problematic seemed to be the genitive (GEN) relative, followed by the object-of-preposition (OPREP) relative and the direct-object relative respectively. The most accessible RC type was the subject relative. These findings provided support for the Noun Phrase Accessibility Hierarchy (Keenan and Comrie 1977). The results also demonstrated that Thai EFL learners in producing "that"-RCs were faced with common errors, e.g. pronominal reflexes, null-prep constructions, and a lack of comma as well as occurrences of "that" in nonrestrictive RCs.

Keywords: English Relative Clause, Corpus-based Study, English Learner, "That" as a Relativizer, the NPAH, Resumptive Pronoun

The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies, Volume 13, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.49-66. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 4, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 490.865KB)).

Dr. Supakorn Phoocharoensil

Lecturer, Language Institute, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand