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Laparoscopic Endoscopic Surgical Science Markedness Hypothesis: Study of English Dative and Benefactive Alternation [ALRJournal]
ALRJournal. 2018; 2(3): 17-33 | DOI: 10.14744/alrj.2018.99608

Markedness Hypothesis: Study of English Dative and Benefactive Alternation

Ali A. Ariamanesh, Zohreh Shojai
Department of English Language and Literature, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

The Markedness Hypothesis is based on the idea that some grammatical forms are more restricted in use and thus pose more challenges for learners to master them. In second language acquisition, such a hypothesis normally implies a sequential development claiming that unmarked forms should be acquired before marked ones. The present study aims at scrutinizing the markedness proposals in the realm of argument structures in general, and the acquisition of English dative and benefactive alternation in specific. Following this purpose, three data-collection instruments (translation, sentence-making, & grammaticality judgement) were constructed and the required data was collected from 40 undergraduate Persian EFL learners. The participants were at intermediate and upper-intermediate proficiency levels, and almost all had institute learning experiences. The results of a mixed between-within groups ANOVA did not show a significant effect for exposure in the current study. Moreover, the participants showed a high tendency to use the dative verbs in double-object structures more than the benefactive ones across all the three tasks. Although the high production of prepositional-object forms in the translation task could be attributed to the participants’ L1; i.e. Persian, the conjecture was later undermined in the sentence-making task. In line with Rappaport Hovav and Levin (2008), the main finding of this study gives rise to ‘verb sensitivity’ the effect of which was transparent in the three tests. According to the results, verb-class, which is basically meaning-based, turned out as a significant factor in relation to the acquisition of English dative and benefactive double-object constructions.

Keywords: Markedness, Dative, Benefactive, Double-object, Verb-class

Ali A. Ariamanesh, Zohreh Shojai. Markedness Hypothesis: Study of English Dative and Benefactive Alternation. ALRJournal. 2018; 2(3): 17-33

Corresponding Author: Ali A. Ariamanesh, Iran
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