Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2005

Capstone Advisor

Professor William Ritchie

Honors Reader

Professor Tej Bhatia

Capstone Major

Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

Linguistics | Other Arts and Humanities | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Other Linguistics


This work focuses on Principles A and B of Binding Theory as applied to English. While English has a very strict interpretation of Binding Theory, it has a violation of Principle B with sentences with locative prepositional phrases and verb phrases of caused movement or perception.

In contrast, Chinese and Japanese have a very liberal interpretation of Binding Theory. The study is involved with investigating whether or not Japanese or Chinese speakers adapt to the English violation which is typically not taught in a classroom setting, but something acquired through natural exposure.

A custom survey was designed to see if non-native speakers accommodate for the English violation. Thirteen speakers of Chinese and eleven speakers of Japanese participated.

The Chinese and Japanese speakers did adapt to the English interpretations with the violations. Surprisingly, some of the native English speakers did not. There are two conflicting hypotheses: one is that the non-native speakers are using Universal Grammar along with assistance from L1, the other is that they are transferring the parameter value from their L1 to their L2.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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