On the structure and acquisition of telicity and unaccusativity in Vietnamese


Trang Phan and Nigel Duffield

Taiwan Journal of Linguistics, Vol. 19.2, 1-32, 2021

Journal website

Abstract: In this paper, we investigate Chinese L2 learners’ knowledge of two grammatical constraints in Vietnamese: the first, a constraint on the aspectual interpretation of accomplishment predicates, the second pertaining to alternations in the position of embedded subjects in mono-clausal làm causatives. Whereas the former constraint is shared by Vietnamese and Chinese, the two languages differ with respect to the latter. The results of three judgment tasks provide statistically reliable support for the idea that L2 interlanguage grammars are not ultimately limited by L1 patterns; given the absence of explicit teaching and only limited exposure to relevant structures, it is suggested that learners’ performance may be guided by UG information.

About the authorTrang Phan was a HYI Visiting Scholar from 2020-21.