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Document Details :

Title: Japanese EFL Learners' Sensitivity to Configurational Distinction in English Relative Clause Comprehension
Author(s): ITO, Akihiro
Journal: ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics
Volume: 148    Date: 2005   
Pages: 45-62
DOI: 10.2143/ITL.148.0.2002064

Abstract :
A variety of studies have reported that the order of Noun Phrase Accessibility Hierarchy can be a valid predictor of difficulty of relative clauses, but it is unclear whether the difficulty of relative clauses should be attributed to the grammatical function of noun phrases (grammatical relation) or to configurational differences in the relative clause structure. A few articles have reported that learners of English are more sensitive to configurational distinctions than grammatical relation distinctions in relative clause production. However, not much research on this issue has been conducted. The results of a grammaticality judgment test conducted with 77 Japanese learners of English point toward a stronger sensitivity to configuration than to grammatical relation, favoring the configurational account.