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对英语专业学生学习现在完成时语料库研究

时间: 2015-03-01 编号:sb201503010970 作者:蜂朝网
类别:英语论文 行业: 字数:32600 点击量:815
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文章摘要:
This paper will address some of the controversies from the perspectives of verbsaliency and lexical aspect. The issue of the research is whether English major students canacquire English present perfect tense according to Verb Saliency Hypothesis and LexicalAspect Hypothesis.

Chapter One Introduction


1.1 Research background

The present perfect tense, as a part of English tense-aspect system, is one of theimportant grammatical aspects of English. Tense and aspect are two important categories inlanguage research (Zhao, 2013). Acquisition of English tense-aspect is a fairly difficult butextremely important part in the process of English learning (Bardovi-Harlig, 2000).Radford put forward a difficulty level of learnability: [Mood] < [EPP] < [Person] <[Number] < [Tense], that is, mood is the easiest to acquire, while tense is the most difficultto acquire (Liu et ol., 2011). EFL learners start to be exposed to English tense-aspect at theearly stage of English learning,and many high-level EFL learners think they have acquiredtense-aspect system in the middle school. However, a great number of university studentsstill make various mistakes frequently.English and Chinese are two different language systems, and different tense-aspectmarkers are used to express different concepts of tense-aspect. This also makes it difficultfor Chinese English learners to acquire English tense-aspect (Zhang & Yang, 2009; Liu eial” 2011). Domestic classroom instruction has proved that the present perfect tense is alater acquired aspect in English tense-aspect system, and it is a difficulty in Englishlearning process (Cai, 2003). In order to investigate students' difficulty perception towardstarget language tense-aspect, Cai conducted a questionnaire survey as an exploratoryresearch, and found out that error rates of each aspect could be listed successively asfollows; the present perfect continuous tense > the past perfect tense > the present perfecttense > the past continuous tense > the simple past tense > ... (Cai, 2009). It is clearlyproved that the present perfect tense is a difficult part for EFL learners to acquire. So,it isparticularly important to conduct research on the present perfect tense both at home and:abroad.

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1.2 The purpose of the study

This paper will address some of the controversies from the perspectives of verbsaliency and lexical aspect. The issue of the research is whether English major students canacquire English present perfect tense according to Verb Saliency Hypothesis and LexicalAspect Hypothesis. And the key research questions are 1) How is English major students'performance on verbs of different saliency in present perfect tense acquisition? Are thereany differences between spoken English and written English? 2) Does lexical aspect affectEnglish majors' performance on present perfect tense acquisition? 3) Does English majors'proficiency level affect English present perfect tense acquisition?

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Chapter Two Literature Review


2.1 Theoretical Issues

Researches on tense-aspect system can be traced back to 1970s. In the past fewdecades, numerous researchers have conducted a large number of researches ontense-aspect acquisition,but researchers hold different opinions towards the definition oftense and aspect. Actually, tense and aspect are two different concepts, and aspect also hasits own classification system. Therefore, basic concepts of tense and aspect should beclearly known, and basic theories involved in the researches should also be comprehended. Researchers have been persevering with tense-aspect studies since the ancient Greektime. These studies continuously enrich and improve tense-aspect system. Tense is anotherform of representation on time in natural language,and aspect is always closely related totense. English is a typical language which is highlighted by its tense and aspect (Bhat,1999).Aristotle is the first scholar to differentiate English tense category, and he discoveredthat English verbs have systematic relation with the sense of time (Jacobs,1995).Reinchenbach (1947) emphasized the importance of speech time in English tense-aspectsystem.

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2.2 Previous Empirical Studies on Acquisition of English Present Perfect Tense

As an important constituent part of English tense-aspect system, English presentperfect tense has attracted a lot of attention from researchers both in China and abroad. Agreat number of researches, in both first language acquisition and second languageacquisition, have been conducted on English present perfect tense from differentperspectives. Chinese and English are two different linguistic systems, so the acquisition oftense-aspect is a complicated process for Chinese English learners. With the developmentof education, more and more people, including researchers in China, attach greatimportance to foreign language learning. The present perfect tense,as a relatively difficultpart in English learning, has attracted a lot of attention from Chinese researchers (Cai, 2004; Gu & Wang, 2005; Dai & Wang,2008; Zhang & Yang,2009; Hu,2010; Liu et aL,2011).Form and meaning are two inseparable aspects. For language learners, the acquisitionof English present perfect tense consists of two aspects: form acquisition and meaningacquisition. In China,researches on English present perfect tense acquisition mainly focuson these two sides. From the perspective of research methods,researches in China aremostly empirical studies. Some studies are carried out on the basis of experiments whileothers are based on existing databases.

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Chapter Three Research Design....... 29

3.1 Research Questions....... 29

3.2 Research Subjects....... 29

3.3 Research Data .......  30

Chapter Four Results and Discussion....... 31

4.1 Verb saliency and English present perfect tense markings .......34

4.1.1 Distribution of English present perfect tense markings.......34

4.1.2 Effects of verb saliency on English present perfect tense markings....... 37

4.1.3 Summary .......40

4.2 Lexical aspect and English present perfect tense use....... 42

4.2.1 Distribution of English present perfect variations by lexical aspect....... 42

4.2.2 Effects of lexical aspect on English present perfect tense variations .......45

4.2.3 Summary  ....... 50

Chapter Five Conclusion....... 53

5.1 Major findings of the research....... 53

5.2 Implications for language teaching and learning .......56

5.3 Limitations of the research and suggestions for further research.......   58


Chapter Four Results and Discussion

 

4.1 Verb saliency and English present perfect tense markings

The previous chapter has provided a thorough description of the design of thisresearch. In this chapter, the results of the research will be presented, concerning verifyingtwo hypotheses, verb saliency hypothesis and aspect hypothesis, in English present perfecttense acquisition,and the correlation of English present perfect tense acquisition andlanguage proficiency. The answers to the specific questions proposed in section 3.1 will befound in this chapter. Furthermore, a discussion will be conducted on the basis of thestatistics obtained from the research. This part first presents the distribution of English present perfect tense markings byverb saliency in both written and spoken English,and then discusses whether verb saliencyis a significant fector to English present perfect tense acquisition by proficiency level.


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Conclusion


Specific results of the thesis and a detailed analysis have been presented in chapterfour. In this chapter, a summary of the major results and findings will be given. After that,some implications for language teaching and learning will be provided,and then somelimitations of the research will be pointed out and suggestions for further research will begiven. According to saliency hypothesis,irregular verbs are acquired earlier than regularverbs. The hypothesis has been proved to be true by many foreign researchers (Wolfram,1985; Bayley, 1991; Bardovi-Harlig,1992),but many researchers in China found thatsaliency hypothesis did not apply to Chinese learners (Cai,2002; Gu & Wang, 2005; Liu eta/.,2011). Despite this,an interesting research conducted by Hu (2010) demonstrated thatthe hypothesis was proved to be true in non-English majors' spoken English, that is,irregular verbs were acquired earlier than regular verbs in spoken English. However, Hualso found regular verbs were acquired earlier than irregular verbs in non-English majors'written English.

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Reference (omitted)


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