a1 University of Calgary/Hokkaido University
This paper presents two experiments in the acquisition of the nominal domain in English by Japanese and Spanish second language (L2) learners. The first experiment tests the L2 learners' ability to distinguish between count and mass nouns using a grammaticality judgement task and the second experiment tests learners on different types of definite (based on J. Hawkins's 1978 taxonomy) in count and mass contexts by means of a forced-choice elicitation task. The claim by Chierchia (1998a, b) is that there is a Nominal Mapping Parameter and the three languages discussed in this paper each have a different parametric value. The aim of the paper is to test Japanese and Spanish L2 learners of English to see whether they can reset the parameter to the English setting.
(Received August 12 2006)
(Revised November 09 2006)
(Accepted January 05 2007)
* The research reported in this article formed part of the author's Ph.D dissertation completed at the Department of Language & Linguistics, University of Essex, UK, which was supported by a three year ESRC scholarship. Earlier versions of this research were presented at J-SLA 2005, GALA 2005 and GASLA 2006. The author wishes to thank Roger Hawkins for his supervision as well as Y-k. Ingrid Leung, Tania Kupisch and three anonymous reviewers. All errors and misinterpretations are solely due to the author.