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Lee, Youngjoo. 2017. Effects of L1 Transfer in the Use of Instead of by Korean Learners of English. English Language and Linguistics 23.2, 135-154. This paper examines the effects of L1 transfer in the production and comprehension of instead of by Korean learners of English. The complex preposition instead of is a negative expression (Thompson 1972, Lee 2017). The element following instead of composes a negative sentence, and A instead of B is equivalent to A and not B. While the meaning of instead of remains the same regardless of the syntactic category of its complement, the meaning of its Korean counterpart taysin varies with the syntactic category of the element preceding taysin (Jeong 2014). While nouns preceding taysin compose a negative sentence just like instead of, adjectives preceding it compose a positive sentence, opposite to instead of. To make matters worse, verbs preceding taysin can be interpreted as positive or negative depending upon context. Given that instead of conveys only a partial meaning of taysin, Korean learners of English who assume the semantic equivalence of the two expressions (i.e., L1 semantic transfer) are predicted to experience production errors or misinterpretation. In order to confirm these predictions, this study examined 86 Korean learners' use of instead of through translation and sentence completion tasks. The results confirmed the prediction that Korean learners of English could transfer the meaning of taysin to instead of, and the transfer effects were observed in both production and comprehension. Many participants translated taysin in positive contexts into instead of, and misinterpreted instead of as a positive expression. The results of this study provide an insight on how to teach the meaning of function words in grammar education.

 

Key words: L1 transfer, semantic transfer, instead of, taysin, transfer errors, Korean learners of English


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