1887
Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2542-3835
  • E-ISSN: 2542-3843
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Abstract

Abstract

Cross-linguistic influence studies usually investigate how the bilingual’s first language (L1) influences the acquisition and use of their second language (L2) within the L2 context. This study, by contrast, investigates how the bilingual’s L2 may influence their L1 within the L1 environment, specifically whether the L2 affects L1 performance in an L1 environment in Chinese (L1)-English (L2) late bilinguals, in the domain of subject realisation. Typologically, Chinese allows pronominal subjects to be optionally null under certain discourse-pragmatic conditions whereas English requires obligatory pronominal subjects under most circumstances. To examine possible L2 effects, 15 Chinese-English bilinguals (Experimental) and 15 Chinese monolinguals (Control) participated in Chinese narrative tasks. Results show that bilingual participants produce significantly lower percentages of null subjects than the control group, indicating that bilinguals prefer overt subjects over null subjects in their L1 Chinese utterances under the influence of L2 English syntactic patterns.

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