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Title:Exploring the degree of native-likeness in bilingual acquisition: second and heritage language acquisition of Korean case-ellipsis
Author(s):Chung, Eun Seon
Director of Research:Montrul, Silvina A.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Yoon, Hye Suk James
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Montrul, Silvina A.; Ionin, Tania; Christianson, Kiel
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Second language acquisition
Heritage language acquisition
Korean case ellipsis
bilingual difficulty
Abstract:The primary objective of this dissertation is to investigate how early and late bilinguals attain implicit knowledge of Korean case ellipsis (CE) that necessitates integration of multiple types of information and poses many learnability problems for the learners. The present research examines similarities and differences between the different types of bilinguals as well as between monolingual and bilingual populations. An oral picture description task and a written forced-choice elicitation task are developed to investigate how different populations employ the relevant factors in Korean CE and if certain types of cues are more accessible than others. The results reveal qualitative differences in the underlying linguistic knowledge of early vs. late bilinguals with heritage language learners (i.e., early bilinguals) achieving a higher level of mastery than second language learners (i.e., late bilinguals) in both oral and written tasks. It seems possible for heritage language learners to attain implicit knowledge of Korean CE, and parallels can be drawn between these learners and monolingual children. Second language learners, on the other hand, showed divergent and variable patterns in judgment and production, which question their ability to acquire the phenomenon. The results underline the importance of age, context, and mode of acquisition in bilingual acquisition as the learners showed a tendency to depend on factors/cues that are more readily available to them in their respective context and mode of acquisition. The effects of task and structural priming are also discussed. On the basis of these findings, it is concluded that different types of bilinguals process and acquire the phenomenon of Korean CE differently, and that bilingual difficulty does not lie in particular domains but is more computational in nature with learners failing to effectively incorporate multiple levels of information in a native-like manner.
Issue Date:2013-08-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Eun Seon Chung
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-08-22
Date Deposited:2013-08

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