• ISSN: 2382-6282 (Print); 2972-3108 (Online)
    • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Lang. Lit. Linguist.
    • Frequency: Bimonthly
    • DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL
    • Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Jason Miin-Hwa Lim
    • Managing Editor:  Jennifer X. Zeng
    • Indexed by:   CNKI, Google Scholar, Crossref,
    • E-mail: ijlll_Editor@126.com
IJLLL 2024 Vol.10(2): 252-256
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2024.10.2.521

Underpassivization Errors by Japanese EFL Learners: A Theoretical Analysis

Nobuyo Fukaya
Niigata Agro-Food University, Japan
Email: nobuyo-fukaya@ nafu.ac.jp

Manuscript received January 7, 2024; revised March 2, 2024; accepted March 15, 2024; published April 28, 2024

Abstract—It is widely known that English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners wrongly produce passives with intransitive verbs such as happen and appear, which is called overpassivization. This study aims to explore constructions with the prototypical dative verb give and provide a theoretical account of errors that Japanese EFL learners frequently make based on data collected from the Japanese EFL Learner Corpus. The results reveal cases in which the sentence looks active, but its interpretation is passive, called underpassivization. For example, I gave this book, we infer that “I” is the person who offered this toy to someone. However, a detailed analysis reveals cases in which “I” refers to the recipient of the toy; that is, the speaker intended to say “I was given this toy.” This corpus-based study assumes that underpassivization errors are created by moving the recipient originating in VP to the specifier position of IP, the subject position.

Keywords—underpassivization, overpassivization, English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners, the dative alternation

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Cite:Nobuyo Fukaya, "Underpassivization Errors by Japanese EFL Learners: A Theoretical Analysis," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 252-256, 2024.

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