Acquisition of English Preposition Pied-piping and Preposition Stranding

By Supakorn Phoocharoensil.

Published by The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 24, 2017 $US5.00

This interlanguage study was aimed at an investigation of sixty Thai EFL students’ acquisition of English prepositional relative clauses, also known as object-of-preposition relative clauses (OPREPs). The participants of the study, equally divided into two groups of high- and low-proficiency levels, were asked to do a sentence-combination task where two simple sentences would be merged into one complex sentence containing an OPREP or a related adverbial construction introduced by where. The research findings indicate that Thai learners seem to produce the null-prep construction, which is ungrammatical in the target language, in the early stages of OPREP acquisition. As their proficiency increases, the amount of null-prep use gradually declines. In addition, they apparently acquire the preposition stranding prior to the pied-piping structure, the latter of which is less salient in L2 input. The results of the present study lend support to several previous studies in order of OPREP acquisition.

Keywords: English Relative Clause, Preposition Pied-Piping, Preposition Stranding, Learners’ Proficiency, Thai EFL Learner, Second Language Acquisition

The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies, Volume 15, Issue 2, June 2017, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 24, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 540.283KB)).

Dr. Supakorn Phoocharoensil

Assistant Professor and Vice Director for Academic Affairs and Research Administration, Language Institute, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand