|摘要: ||本研究之目的在於探討臺灣的英語學習者過度使用英文there be句型的現象。相關研究顯示這種過度使用的現象可歸因於學習者母語(國語)和第二語言英語的交互作用。亦即這種特有的中英文中介語(Chinese-English interlanguage)句型乃是由於中文「有─」句型和there be句型在語法、語意、及語言功能方面互相影響所造成的。本研究乃是從一個跨語言的觀點來檢視受母語轉換影響的第二語言學習過程。這種語言學習過程是一個深層認知的過程，而非只是單純表面結構的轉換。臺灣的英語學習者學習there be句型的困難則可以「次集原則」(Subset Principle)和「獨特原則」(Uniqueness Principle) 解釋之。|
研究結果顯示中文「有─」句型和there be句型在語法方面的相似的確是臺灣大學生過度使用there be句型的原因之一。而中文的特殊語篇功能也被證實對臺灣的英語學習者經常使用there be句型來啟始英文句子有顯著的影響。就語意上而言，研究結果也顯示中文主詞的限定效果是致使臺灣的英語學習者過度使用there be以避免使用英文非限定主詞的原因之一。就如大多數的中介語問題，英文程度對於臺灣的英語學習者過度使用there be句型的現象具有決定性的影響。語料分析的結果亦顯示there be句型的使用是導致英文中介語中某些錯誤的原因。
This study aims to investigate EFL Chinese college learners’ acquisition of English existential constructions, specifically the there be sentences. It has been observed that Chinese learners’ tend to overuse English there be sentences in their L2 English output. The study attempts to identify the sources of this interlanguage phenomenon by looking directly into the L2 data.
It is believed that the overgeneration problem of Chinese learners is the result of the interaction among various aspects of the learners’ mother tongue and the target language. The Chinese-English interlanguage (CIL) is assumed to result from the vigorous interaction among the syntax, the semantics, and the discourse function of Mandarin you-sentences and English there be sentences. A cross-linguistic paradigm should best address this process of language transfer, which is believed to be cognitive and interactive in nature, rather than superficial and mechanical. The difficulty of Chinese learners’ learning there be sentences can be explicated in the light of the Subset Principle and the Uniqueness Principle.
Two lines of investigation are conducted to procure sufficient relevant data for analysis. The first source of data is a corpus of essays produced by a group of Chinese learners of English. The corpus contains 60 student-written English essays with two discernable levels of proficiency. The principal purpose of this corpus analysis is to understand how there be sentences are applied in the L2 discourse, and how the learners with different levels of proficiency apply various there be sentences in the stretch of discourse.
The other line of study is to examine the L2 data from a group of 260 college learners of English at Chinese Culture University. The three major tasks, an elicitation translation task, a substitution test, and a Mandarin-to-English translation task, provide the needed L2 data and L1 data for explaining the causes of CIL there be sentences.
The results of the study indicate that the similarities between Mandarin-you sentences and there be sentences have contributed, to a considerable degree, the Chinese learners’ overgeneration of CIL there be sentences. The discourse function of Mandarin is also proven to have a powerful effect on the Chinese learners’ overuse of there be to initiate L2 English sentences. Semantically, the definiteness effect of Mandarin subjects has restricted the Chinese learners in applying indefinite subjects in L2 utterances and thus conduced to the learners’ overuse of there be sentences. As with most interlanguage problems, L2 proficiency is shown to be a decisive factor in the employment of there be sentences by the Chinese learners. The incorporation of there be into L2 discourse is shown to be one major cause of many grammatical problems of the Chinese learners of English. All in all, the cognitive perspective of L2 acquisition is verified by the plentiful L2 patterns that emerge in this study.
The greatest significance of the present study is its revelation of the cognitive and interactive nature and the legitimate status of an interlanguage. Nevertheless, to obtain more convincing and clearer explanations of the particular interlanguage problems of the Chinese learners, the researcher should overcome and avoid the limitations and the flaws of the present study in future related studies.