Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1879-9264
  • E-ISSN: 1879-9272
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This paper tests the universal Topic Prominence (TP) stage hypothesis and L1 transfer hypothesis by analyzing attested TP features, namely zero pronouns, bare (i.e., article-less) nouns, and post-nominal topic marking found in Korean written narratives collected from L2 Korean (TP language) speakers whose L1 is English (SP language) and Mandarin Chinese (TP language), respectively. The results showed that L2 Korean speakers used zero pronouns as frequently as L1 Korean speakers did from the early stage of their acquisition, whereas the use of the topic marking lagged behind, regardless of their L1 backgrounds. We explain the results by appealing to the universal acquisition path based on pragmatic-lexical-morphosyntactic cline: while the concept of the topic is (arguably) universal, its morphological marking is influenced by L1 as well as learning experience.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): L1 transfer; L2 Korean; Universal Topic Prominence hypothesis; written narratives
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