The present study examined how a new topic was introduced, maintained, and changed in the Japanese-English interlanguage data of a 45 minute interview between a native and a non-native speaker of English. Retrospective accounts recorded after the interview were used to complement the interlanguage data. In order to achieve a more comprehensive perspective of the interlanguage, the function and distribution of certain topic marking devices in the present data were compared with those of equivalent devices in both native Japanese and English data. Results indicate that, although the topic marking system of the interlanguage shared some features with the first and second languages, it maintained features independent of these languages. Furthermore, the interlanguage data confirmed to two language universal hypotheses of Givón's (1984) topic continuity hierarchy and Du Bois' (1987) preferred argument structure. Possible causes for some unique features observed in the interlanguage were also discussed.
|IRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching
|Published - 1997
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