Interpretations of Korean Reflexive Binding by Late L2 learners of Korean with English and Chinese L1

  • Received : 2010.05.11
  • Accepted : 2010.06.09
  • Published : 2010.06.30


Present study examines L1 transfer effect and UG involvement in the acquisition of binding properties of Korean as second language (L2). The study especially investigates i) whether knowledge from different L1s (English and Chinese) affect the interpretation of binding in Korean as L2 and ii) whether L2 learners of Korean differentiate two Korean anaphors like Korean monolinguals do, based on their knowledge of universal form-function correlation of anaphors. 53 post-puberty L2 learners of Korean with English or Chinese L1, together with 30 Korean monolinguals, were tested over Truth Value Judgment Task with stories, composed of Korean sentences representing various types of binding with two Korean reflexives - caki and caki-casin. The results showed some effect of L1 transfer, though not always. Overall, late L2 learners of Korean seem to know the difference between the two anaphors in their properties related to form-function correlation, though their performance level was lower compared to Korean monolinguals. Detailed pattern of the results and the role of UG in the interpretations of Korean reflexives are also discussed.