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An Investigation of L1 Influence on Japanese and Chinese Native Speakers' Use of English Tense Forms

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Author(s): Rose-Ellen Kesselly

Journal: New Voices : A Journal for Emerging Scholars of Japanese Studies in Australia and New Zealand
ISSN 1833-5233

Volume: 2;
Start page: 221;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: L1 influence | tense | Japanese | Chinese | English

ABSTRACT
This study investigates L1 influence on Japanese and Chinese native speakers’ use of English simple present and simple past tense. A comparative analysis of English simple present and simple past tense and corresponding forms in Japanese and Chinese was conducted through literature review enabling the identification and analysis of L1 influences in Japanese-English and Chinese-English Interlangauges (JIL and CIL).Samples of JIL and CIL were obtained through guided conversation with four Japanese native speakers and four Chinese native speakers. Tendencies in the use of simple present tense and simple past tense forms produced in the JIL and CIL samples were identified, and through comparison of Interlanguage tendencies to L1 forms, the nature of L1 influence was analysed. It was found that most of the identified tendencies shared features of the speakers’ L1 forms. These findings supported the hypothesis that tense and aspect forms produced in JIL and CIL are characterised by features of the speakers’ respective L1 forms. Due to limitations on the extent of this study more extensive research is required to confirm these findings.
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