How Non Native Speakers Of English English Language

Essay add: 24-10-2015, 21:50   /   Views: 357

The purpose of this research is to see how non-native speakers of English use modal verbs: if they rely on the grammatical structures of their mother tongue or they learn how to use modal verbs in English without the influence of their own language.This paper is organized as follows: in section 2, we deal with the theoretical accounts of modal verbs. This section is subdivided into two: Section 2.1 focuses on analytic mood and formal properties of modal auxiliaries, and section 2.2 deals with the different points of view on modal verbs according to some grammar books and other sources such as the idea of what a modal verb is that non-native speakers of English have. In section 3, we explain the importance of the theoretical accounts of modal verbs for non-native speakers of English in order to use them correctly. In section 4, we analyze the tests done by non-native speakers of English.

This section is subdivided into five different parts: the first part deals with the profile of my participants, the second one with the elicitation method, the third one with my hypothesis, and the last one with the analysis of the data. Finally, in section 4, we offer some conclusion we have reached after the whole study.

Theoretical accounts of modal verbs:

In this section of my project, I expound the theoretical accounts concerning the modal verbs in English which I am dealing with. On the one hand, I focus on analytic mood. On the other hand, I treat of central modal verbs, semi-modal verbs, their properties, and their meaning according to several grammarians and the opinion of non-native speakers of English.Analytic mood: Formal Properties of Modal Auxiliaries. Ilse Depraetere and Susan Reed (2006).In English, a distinction between central modals (can, could, may, might, shall, should, will, would, mush) and peripheral modals (ought) is made.Central modals have what is called 'NICE' properties (negation, inversion, code, and emphasis). This means that they have a negative form which consists on the auxiliary followed by not; in subject-verb inversion they can precede the subject; they can occur in 'code', i.e. they can substitute a lexical verb which has been used before in the context; and they are able of emphasizing affirmations.

That means that they can emphasize by themselves. In addition, they are not marked for person or number, and they are always finite.

Central modal verbs and semi-modals: Their properties and their meaning according to several grammarians and the opinion of non-native speakers of English:

According to Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svatvik (1985) auxiliaries and modal auxiliaries have several properties. The auxiliary properties are the following: [A] primary verb negation, [B] subject-auxiliary inversion, [C] emphatic polarity, [D] stranding, [E] exclusion of do in code, [F] precede adverb or quantifier, [G] negative forms, and [H] reduced forms. The properties of modal auxiliaries are: [I] only primary forms, [J] no person or number agreement, [K] only bare infinitival complement, [L] can occur in remote apodosis, and [M] modally remote preterit in main clause.Can and will have all the properties listed above, therefore they are the most simple modal verbs. Must applies all the properties from [A] to [K]. However, it has no preterit form [M].

For some speakers, it can occur in remote apodosis, although such structures are not common because they prefer a preterit modal. May has all properties except [H] and, for some speakers, [G] because it is strange to have mayn't, though it exists, the common negative form is may not. There is a problematic relationship between the present and preterit tenses of may, they are no longer inflectional forms of the same lexeme, but they come from different lexemes, and each of them lacks a preterit form. Shall applies the properties from [A] to [M], yet its preterit form, should, can be found functioning as its actual preterit form or having an idiomatic meaning. Ought differs from central modal auxiliaries in that it takes a to-infinitival complement.

However, in non-affirmative contexts we usually find a bare infinitival complement.According to Thomson and Marinet (1986), can, could, may, might, must, ought, shall, should, will, and would are modal auxiliaries. To express permission, we can use may, might, can, and could. May is used in the present and future, and might is used in the conditional and after verbs in the past tense.

Both of them are followed by a bare infinitive. Can, as may, is used in the present and future, could is used in the past and conditional. Both of them are also followed by bare infinitive.May and can are the forms used in the present or future to express permission. Can is more usual than may, and, in colloquial speech, it is much more frequent the use of can/could than may/might.

May is usually used when permission is given, can is a less formal alternative to may in this case. However, can expresses the idea of being allowed to do something.

Relation between the theoretical accounts and the objective of this research:

We can give some reasons why it is important to have in mind several theoretical accounts about modal verbs. Firstly, non-native speakers of English need to know the basic characteristics of modal verbs in order to distinguish them from other type of verbs, for instance lexical verbs. Another reason to take into account these theoretical accounts is that non-native speakers of English do not speak this language by intuition but by knowledge. Thus we must know some rules, and we must have some basic notions about modal verbs so as to use them in an adequate way.

Finally, it is important for us to know the meaning that each modal verb contributes to the utterance we want to say because modal verbs have important nuances.

Analysis of the data:

I obtained the data for my analysis from 140 participants from which I have selected 32 which I consider more outstanding. These 32 tests have been selected according to the age of the participants and their results.

Profile of the participants:

The amount of participants I have worked with was of 140 people all of them between the age of 14 and 35. All of them are native speakers of Spanish, except a 17-year-old girl whose L1 is Bulgaria, L2 Spanish, L3 French, and L4 English. From these 140 tests, I have selected 32 which are the ones that I consider more remarkable both for their results and the age of their participants.

The people who have participated in the research are students of English at Condesa Eylo Alfonso high school from second year secondary education up to first year of vocational training focused on commerce.

Method of elicitation of data:

The data was elicited through a test which was divided into two sections. The first section, questions from 1 to 10, the participants had to fill in the gaps with one of the modal verbs they were give. The second section has to do with the knowledge that the participants have about modal verbs, i.e. in this section they had to say what a modal verb is, and what it expresses.

Hypothesis:

Before starting with the analysis of the tasks that the participants did, I had three hypotheses.Firstly, the older participants should use the English modal verbs in a better way than the younger. The older participants have been studying English and its grammar for longer, thus they should better appreciate the nuances that modal verbs contribute to the meaning of a sentence. Secondly, younger participants are supposed to be more influenced by the use of modal verbs in their own language because they have not had enough contact with English in order to use it fluently.

Finally, both teenagers and adults are supposed to use better the modal verbs which have the same use in their mother tongue because it is easier for anybody to learn how to use a structure that we have in our own language.

Analysis of data:

Part.

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q5

Q6

Q7

Q8

Q9

Q10

14

X

14

XXX

15

XXX

15

XXXXX

15

XXX

15

15

XXXXXXX

16

XXXXXXX

16

XXXXXXXX

16

XXXX

16

16

XX

17

X

17

XXXXX

18

XXXXX

18

XXXXX

19

XXXX

19

19

XX

19

XXXXXX

20

XXXXXX

20

21

XXXX

21

22

XXXXX

22

XX

23

XX

24

26

XXXX

30

XXX

33

XXX

35

XXX

16

27

19

27

15

20

19

32

19

22

X

16

5

13

5

17

12

13

0

13

10

% √

50

84.38

59.38

84.38

46.88

62.5

59.38

100

59.38

68.75

% X

50

15.62

40.62

15.62

53.12

37.5

40.62

0

40.62

31.25



Article name: How Non Native Speakers Of English English Language essay, research paper, dissertation