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ISSN : 1017-7108(Print)
ISSN : (Online)
English Teaching Vol.74 No.1 pp.49-73

Korean EFL Learners’ Processing of English Caused-Motion Construction

Hakyung Sung
Seoul Naional University


This study explores how Korean English learners process English caused-motion constructions (CMC) through online and offline experiments. The focus was on how Korean learners’ processing of English CMC is affected by the typological difference between English and Korean. Of the 77 volunteer participants recruited, 17 were native English speakers and 60 were Korean EFL learners. The experiments included a sentence completion task (SCT) as an online experiment, and an acceptability jugment task (AJT) and a translation (correction) task as offline experiments. The results showed that in the SCT, the Korean learners showed difficulty in combining process and result events with intransitive manner verbs. In the AJT, they rarely accepted the CMCs with intransitive manner verbs, but easily accepted the ‘causative verb + byphrase’ structures with the same type of verbs. When the sentences were employed in the AJT were asked to be translated into Korean, the low-intermediate Korean learners were likely to drop the result meaning and interpret the preposition phrase as a locative rather than a goal. In sum, Korean learners showed similar patterns to native English speakers in processing path verbs and transitive manner verbs, but different pattern in processing intransitive manner verbs. These findings demonstrate that Korean learners' processing of English CMC is heavily influenced by their L1 when the construction accompanied intransitive manner verbs.