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Assignment2:ErrorAnalysis

KayoKang,JosephineChen&TsukasaShimizu
LLED489C96A,UBC
Tuesday,July31st2012

Introduction

ThefollowingtranscriptisaconversationbetweenTsukasaandherfianc,whichwas
conductedonSkype.Theyhadtheadvantagetoseeeachotherfacetofaceduring
theiroralconversationandhadaccesstoachatroomforwrittenclarification.The
conversationwasrecordedwithavoicerecordingdevicebyTsukasa.Tsukasa'sfianc
isanativeenglishspeaker,whereasTsukasaisaforeignlanguagelearner.Sheisour
targetexamineeforourlanguageanalysis.TheexamineehaslearnedEnglishas
foreignlanguagefor14yearsinJapan.In2010,shevolunteeredforan
oneyearinternshipprogramasanassistantatapreschoolinBoston.Asagraduate
studentinRitsumeikanUniversity,sheisenrolledintheTESLprogram,whichhasan
exchangeprogramwithUBC.Therefore,sheiscurrentlytakingLLED489inUBC.

Tsukasahasrecordedandtranscribedtheconversation.Shealsoworkedonthefirst
draftoftheintroduction.Allofus(Tsukasa,JosephineandKayo)workedtogetherto
identifyerrorsanddiscusseddescriptionsoftargetutterancesaswellaspossible
reasonsforerrors.KayoworkedonthefirstdraftofthetableandJosephineonthe
conclusion.Then,allofuscontributedtoediteachpartinordertofinalizethe
assignment.

Transcript

[01]T:Whereisit?
[02]J:Where?(Pause)
[03]T:IntheBostoncity?
[04]J:Yeah,inthecity.
[05]T:OK.
[06]J:Weneverreallywenttoanyplacethatwasclosetoit
[07]T:OK.
[08]J:We()passedthroughtheareafewtimesbut,neverwestopped.
[09]T:Uhhuh,OK.
[10]J:Yeah.Doushite?(WhichmeanswhyinJapanese)
[11]T:Ahh,theunivers,BostonUniversityorcollegeisfamousforASL.

[12]J:OK.
[13]T:Notlike,theGallaudetUniversityinD.C.
[14]J:OK
[15]T:Itisthemostfamous
[16]J:OneinDC?
[17]T:Yeah.
[18]J:OK
[19]T:95%ofthestudentsaredeaf,andjust5%,of,people,thestudentsarethenormal
people.
[20]J:Oh,wow.
[21]T:Butprobablythefive,5%ofthemhavethesame(pause)backgrounds,likefamilyare
deaforlike
[22]J:CODA
[23]T:CODA?
[24]J:CODA,ah,chottomatte(whichmeansholdoninJapanese)CODA(hewastypingthe
spelling[ChildofDeafAdult])
[25]T:Child,of,Deaf,ahh!
[26]J:CODA
[27]T:SotherearesomeresearchabouttheCODA.
[28]J:OK.(pause)atBC?Oh,B,oneofthem?Haha.
[29]T:Ah,no.thatsI
[30]J:WasinDC
[31]T:ItsinDC
[32]J:OK.
[33]T:Sotherearemorejobopportunitythanotherarea.
[34]J:OK.
[35]T:fordeafpeople.
[36]J:OK.
[37]T:Reallycomfortableplacesintheworld.Somanydeafpeoplestudytherefromany
othercountries
[38]J:Yeah
[39]T:tolearnASLeventheyareliveinEuropeorsomewhereelse
[40]J:Oh!OK.
[41]T:Sothatisthemostfamousuniversityintheworldfordeafpeople.
[42]J:Uhhuh.
[43]T:Sonow,thatisthereasonwhyASLisoneofthe,thecommonsignlanguages,
[44]J:Signlanguages
[45]T:allovertheworld.
[46]J:OK.Nowwhatwasthenameoftheschoolagain?
[47]T:Gallaudet.Im,dontknowthespell.

ErrorAnalysis

Line

EXAMPLEOF
ERROR

CORRECT
USAGEOF
THETARGET
LANGUAGE

DESCRIPTIONOF
TARGETUTTERANCE

POSSIBLE
REASONS

intheBoston
city

inBoston
or
inthecityof
Boston

Syntactic/Usageof
article
Propernoundoesn't
needanarticle.

1)Confusionoftwo
commonexpressions:
inthecityofBoston
andinBostoncity".
2)FIrstlanguage
interferenceasthere
isnoarticleinnative
language.

15

Itisthemost
famous.

Itisthemost
famous
university/colleg
e.

Syntactic/Omission
Incompletesentence
Inasuperlative
sentence,asuperlative
formoftheadjective
needstobefollowed
byanoun,whichis
beingdescribed.

1)Firstlanguage
interferenceasin
Japaneseadjectives
canstandaloneina
superlativesentence
whenthedescribed
nounisobviouswithin
thecontext.

19

95%ofthe
studentsare
deaf,andjust
5%of(people,)
thestudentsare
thenormal
people.

95%ofthe
studentsare
deafand5%
arenot.

Syntactic/Semantic
Comparisonneedsto
beinaparallel
structure.When
adjectivesareusedto
describetwosubjects
incomparison,they
shouldbeantonyms.
Otherwise,thesecond
sentenceshouldbea
negativestatementof
thefirstone.

1)Lackofvocabulary
whichresultedinan
inappropriatechoice
ofwordnormal
2)firstlanguage
interferenceasin
Japanese,an
adjectivewhichhasa
meaningsimilarto
normalisusedasan
antonymoftheword
deaf.

21

Familyaredeaf

Someoftheir
Syntactic/Omission
familymembers Unclearmessage
aredeaf
Unlessitisforan
abstractuse,acount
noun,suchasfamily,
needstobepreceded

1)Firstlanguage
interferenceasthe
functionsof
determinersin
Japaneselanguage
arenotasspecificnor

bydeterminerssuch
as,articlesand
possessivepronouns.
Thewordfamily
referstothefamilyas
aunit.Therefore,in
ordertorefer
individualsinafamily
orfamilies,onehasto
sayfamilymembers
ormembersofa
family..

importantasEnglish.
InJapanese,theword
Kazoku
(family)
meansbothfamilyas
aunitandindividuals
membersoffamily.

27

rsearch

resarch

Stress
Stressshouldbeon
thefirstsyllableinstead
ofthesecondsyllable.

1)Firstlanguage
interferenceduetothe
adoptionoftheforeign
word,research,for
whichstressisgiven
equallyoneach
syllable..
2)Primaryknowledge
oftheword,search,
indicatesthestresson
"sear".Therefore,
secondlanguageuser
carriesthatknowledge
intotheword,
research,whichisin
thesamefamily.

33

Therearemore
jobopportunity

Therearemore
job
opportunities

Syntactic/Subjectverb
agreement
Inasentencewith
expletivethere,the
subject,whichcomes
aftertheverb,hasto
agreewiththeverb.A
singularverbtakesa
singularsubject,while
pluralsubjecttakesa
pluralverb.
Morphological
Inflectionalaffix
"ies"needstoreplace

1)firstlanguage
interferenceasthere
isnosubjectverb
agreementrulenor
inflectionalaffixin
nativelanguage.

"y"inordertoobtain
quantityconsistency.
37

(WashingtonDC
is)really
comfortable
placesinthe
world.

(Washington
DCis)areally
comfortable
placeinthe
world.

Syntactic/
Subjectcomplement
agreement
Inasentence
structureofSubject+
Verb+Complement,
thesubjectandanoun
usedasthesubject
complementhaveto
agreeintermsof
quantity.Whenthe
subjectisasingular
noun,thenounusedas
thesubject
complementshouldbe
singular.

1)firstlanguage
interferenceasthere
isnodistinction
betweensingularand
pluralformsofnounin
Japanese.

37

Manydeaf
peoplestudy
therefromany
othercountries

Manydeaf
peoplefrom
othercountries
studythere.

Syntactic/Misordering
NounPhrase(NP)
shouldbefollowedby
PrepositionalPhrase
(PP)whenthePP
modifiestheNP.

1)Incomplete
understandingof
sentencestructureof
English
2)Firstlanguage
interferenceas
sentencestructure/
orderingofnative
languageisvery
differentfromthe
targetlanguage.
Therefore,itcauses
confusion.

37

Manydeaf
peoplestudy
therefromany
othercountries

Manydeaf
peoplefrom
othercountries
studythere.

Syntactic/Addition
theword"any"isnot
neededinthiscasein
termsofredundancy.

1)Misunderstanding
ofthemeaning/usage
ofthewordany
2)Overgeneralization
ofanunfamiliarword
anywhichdoesnot
existinnative
language.

43

Common
[kmn]

Common
[kmn]

Phonetic/
mispronunciation

1)firstlanguage
interferenceasthere

Thevowelofthe
syllablewithoutstress
shouldbepronounced
"uh".
Stresspattern
Stressshouldbeon
thefirstsyllableinstead
ofbothsyllables.

isnosound"uh"in
nativelanguage.
2)firstlanguage
interferenceaseach
syllabletendtobe
stressedequallyin
nativelanguage
3)overgeneralization
ofEnglish
pronunciation
associatedwiththe
letter/vowelo

Conclusion:

Tsukasa'sEnglishisatanadvancedlevel.Whileconveyingherthoughtsorally,she
usescomplicatedexpressions,suchassuperlatives/comparatives.Althoughshemakes
mistakesinherspeech,theyareminorserrorswhichdonotinterferewiththeflowof
communication.
Throughouranalysis,weidentifiedsyntactic,semanticandphoneticerrorsin
Tsukasasspeech.Hererrorsaremainlyduetofirstlanguageinterferencehernative
language(Japanese)isverydifferentfromEnglishintermofmorphology,syntax,and
phonetics/phonology.Tsukasatendstomisusearticlesandtoconfusesingular/pluralformsof
nouns,becausethesegrammarcomponentsdonotexistinhernativelanguage.Errors,such
asmisorderingandsubjectverb/complementagreement,werealsofound.Intermsof
phonetics,weobservedhertendencytoputequalstressoneachsyllableasitisthecasein
hernativelanguage.Shealsousesthespellingasaguideforpronunciation.
ItisclearfromthefollowingexamplesthatTsukasasEnglishcompetencyisin
progress.Forinstance,shepronouncesthewordswhichincludersoundveryclearly,
althoughthereisnosuchsoundinJapanese.Syntactically,Tsukasamakesattemptstouse
thepluralformofnouns,whichdoesnotexistinhernativelanguage.Suchattemptsproduce
errorsinherspeechasshesometimesusesthepluralforminwrongcontexts.Asimilar
mistakewasmadewhensheaddedtheunnecessarywordanytoanounphrase.However,
thesemistakesindicatethatTsukasa,beingawareofdifferencesbetweenhernative
languageandEnglish,ischallengingherselftomastertheusageofthoseunfamiliar
words/phonemes.Webelievethatapplyingknowledgeofsyntax,morphology,
phonetics/phonologyandtakingrisksarethebestwaystoimprovelanguagecompetencyas
wealllearnthroughourownmistakes.Tsukasaisobviouslylearningfromtrialanderror
insteadofavoidingtheriskofmakinganymistakes.
Unlikewrittenwork,itismorechallengingforalanguagelearnertoexpressoneselfin
aspeech,becausesheorhehasverylittletimetoconstructsentenceswhileformingthe

ideasorthoughtssimultaneously.However,Tsukasacanuttercoherentsentencestoconvey
herideasusingcomplicatedsentencestructures.Overall,Tsukasahasahighlanguage
competencyasshehasnotroublecommunicatingwithanativeEnglishspeaker.