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论文作者:留学生论文论文属性:硕士毕业论文 thesis登出时间:2024-05-10编辑:vicky点击率:228

论文字数:36966论文编号:org202405081715192933语种:英语 English地区:中国价格:$ 66




Chapter 1 Introduction

1.1 Research Background

As form and meaning/function pairings, modal verbs have always been a central concern of research in second language acquisition (SLA), and they pose great challenges to second/foreign language learners (Deshors & Gries, 2014). The acquisition of modal verbs is a crucial aspect of the development of conceptual competence in second language (SL) (Jiang & Zhou, 2015). While it has been claimed that can, may and could share a high degree of similarity since they are members of core modal verbs (Biber et al., 1999) and can also express overlapping semantics of possibility, permission, and ability (Coates, 1983; Collins, 2007), significant differences still exist in actual use. For example, in most cases, can and could are used to convey dynamic modality indicating ability, whereas may encodes epistemic modality. However, when acquiring synonymous modal verbs like can and could, Chinese learners tend to perceive little discernible semantic difference between them, and only focus on their form. It is crucial to note that recurrent chunks surrounding modals can be seen as linguistic units on their own. Therefore, research on modal verbs should not be limited to the form of the modal verb itself but may also include surrounding lexical elements and/or syntactic categories (Depraetere et al., 2023). As such, there is a need for a more detailed study of the use of the synonymous modal verbs by Chinese EFL learners to distinguish the subtle differences between their usage patterns in context by comparison to that of native speakers. 

Although the current research on modal verbs is extensive, the majority of studies have mainly relied on simplistic frequency comparison, with a primary emphasis on identifying overuse, underuse and/or misuse by second language learners. However, motivators do not decide a language choice alone (Kang & Xu, 2021). The integration of linguistic contextual features plays a crucial role in the analysis of linguistic items (Klinge & Müller, 2005). Despite the call for more multifactorial investigations that consider contextual co-selection patterns by scholars like Xu (2020), the research in China that implements a multifactorial approach towards this issue is still rather scanty. 


1.2 Purpose and Significance

The purpose of this study is to investigate the differences in the choice of modal verbs can, may and could, and to explore syntactical, morphological, semantic and stylistic factors constraining the use of these modal verbs by Chinese EFL learners. Moreover, this study aims to determine the motivators that contribute to the deviation of Chinese learners from native speakers in using these modal verbs, following Schmid’s (2015, 2020) usage-based Entrenchment-and-Conventionalization Model (EC-Model). The research has methodological, theoretical and practical significance. 

Methodologically, this study expands the MuPDAR approach by performing a multinomial logistic regression and multiple pairwise linear regression modelling. Potential influencing factors can be investigated using multifactorial approaches. While it has been gaining currency in the real论文英语论文网提供整理,提供论文代写英语论文代写代写论文代写英语论文代写留学生论文代写英文论文留学生论文代写相关核心关键词搜索。

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