The effect of L2 English on L1 Mandarin Chinese from the perspective of complement event coercion - An empirical study of advanced Mandarin Chinese-English adulthood bilinguals
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The study focuses on the cross-linguistic influence from the second language (L2) to the first language (L1). The main objective is to investigate the effect of English on Mandarin from the perspective of complement event coercion. The study also considers the relationship between the L2 effect and three constraints, namely, length of residence in the English environment, amount of English exposure, and English proficiency. 35 English monolinguals, 34 Mandarin monolinguals, and 29 advanced Mandarin Chinese-English adulthood bilinguals undertook two acceptability judgment tasks, one in English and the other in Mandarin. The monolingual groups took one task in their language, and the bilingual group took both tasks. In the two tasks, the target coercion sentences were acceptable in English but the equivalent Mandarin coercion sentences were unacceptable. The main results were within expectation. The bilinguals tended to accept not only the English coercion sentences, which were also accepted by the English monolinguals, but also the equivalent Mandarin coercion sentences, which were rejected by the Mandarin monolinguals overall. The results indicated that the bilinguals’ English was influencing their Mandarin to a large degree. When the three constraints were taken into consideration, the influence of the English proficiency on the L2 effect was found, but the other two variable aspects did not show a significant influence on the L2 effect.