Acquisition of Japanese Relative Clauses with Resumptive Pronouns by Chinese Learners

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Ohio State University. Libraries

Research Projects

Organizational Units

Journal Issue


This study examined the use of Japanese resumptive pronouns (RPs) by L1 Chinese learners of Japanese to determine whether learners transfer L1 structural properties of RPs to L2 Japanese grammar and whether they acquire the uses of the four different RPs in Japanese. Using a grammaticality judgment task varying: 1) Position (subject/object), 2) Clause (matrix/embedded), and 3) RP type (gap, kare/kanojo, jibun, jibun-jishin, or kare/kanojo-jishin), the study assessed 34 L2 learners with Chinese L1 and 30 Japanese native speakers. First, the L2 learners showed only matrix and embedded asymmetry for the use of RPs but not subject and object asymmetry, whereas Japanese natives showed both asymmetries. Second, the L2 learners were unable to distinguish among Japanese RPs, whereas Japanese natives could. The finding of the asymmetries observed in subjects and objects holds interesting implications for future research.



Resumptive pronouns, relative clauses, Chinese learners of Japanese, second language acquisition


Hattori, Manami. "Acquisition of Japanese Relative Clauses with Resumptive Pronouns by Chinese Learners." Buckeye East Asian Linguistics, vol. 7 (August 2023), p. 60-68.