NORDSCI Conference proceedings 2022, Book 1

Language and linguistics

THE ROLE OF CONTINGENCY IN L2 ACQUISITION OF THE USE OF COMPOUND DENOMINAL VERBS

Feiya Xiao

ABSTRACT

This study investigates the influence of contingency on L2 learners’ acceptability of compound denominal verbs. The study recruits six advanced L2 learners of English whose native language is Chinese and one English native speaker. A timed Acceptability Judgement Task (AJT) and a verbal production task are used to collect data to investigate participants’ implicit knowledge of the use of compound denominal verbs. Using the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), the target words in the AJT and the verbal production task are categorized into high-frequency words group and low-frequency words group. Furthermore, all the words including the novel use of words are divided into low contingency and high contingency according to their forms. The target words are incorporated into 36 sentences as the stimuli for the AJT and the verbal production task. The results of these two tasks have shown that, firstly, contingency is associated with L2 learners' acceptability of denominal verbs or deverbal nouns. Participants tend to accept the usage of denominal verbs or deverbal nouns when the contingency of word form is high. Secondly, L2 learners’ acceptability of denominal verbs and deverbal nouns is also related to the frequency of compound words. In high-frequency compound words, participants are more likely to accept the novel use of high contingency compound words. But in low-frequency compound words, there is no strong connection between participants’ acceptability of novel word usage and the contingency of the word form. Moreover, compared to high-frequency compound words, the novel usage of low-frequency compound words is more likely to be accepted by L2 learners

KEYWORDS

English Denominal Verbs, Second Language Acquisition, Chinese L2 learners of English

REFERENCE

NORDSCI Conference proceedings 2022, Book 1,Volume 5, ISSN 2603-4107, ISBN 978-619-7495-27-0, DOI paper 10.32008/NORDSCI2022/B1/V5/10, Pages 111 - 119 pp