The Acquisition of “N + that” Appositive Clauses of Chinese EFL Learners: A Corpus-Based Study

  •  Tian Guo    
  •  Shiqian Zhang    


The present research used a corpus-based method to investigate Chinese EFL learners’ acquisition of “N + that” appositive clauses by comparing data from the TECCL corpus of Chinese English learners and the NESSIE corpus of native English speakers. Quantitatively, the number of Ns (nouns) distributed in “N + that” appositive clauses in the TECCL has no significant difference from that in the NESSIE; but results of Chi-square tests revealed that the Ns that are frequently used by Chinese learners in these clauses are significantly different from those used by English native speakers, which may result from the grammatical drills in English teaching and learning in Chinese schools. Qualitatively, Errors occurring in the “N + that” appositive clauses in Chinese EFL learners’ compositions could be classified into two types: Errors in Vocabulary and Errors in Sentence Structure; and the errors could be explained by the Markedness Differential Hypothesis (Eckman, 1977, 1989) and the Interlanguage Theory (Selinker, 1972). This study may bring implications to the teaching and learning/acquisition of English appositive clauses.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4768
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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