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Volume 7 Number 1, Spring 2010, Pages 1-393   

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Demonstrative NPs and Pronoun it in Chinese L2 Learners' Writing

    Donghong Liu

Demonstrative NPs and pronoun it can be used to maintain coherence and refer back to the ideas mentioned earlier. However, there is quite limited research on such phenomena in L2 writing. This study explores the anaphoric demonstrative NPs and pronoun it, with Chinese Learner English Corpus as the data source. Altogether 203 compositions from ST3 and ST4 have been selected and subjected to data analyses so as to answer three questions: whether language proficiency differentiates the level of recapitulation; whether the learners of lower proficiency prefer using pronouns because they are less marked; whether the frequency of pronoun it, on the whole, is much higher than that of the other anaphors. The results reveal that the learners' ability of recapitulation displays a spiral increase and that the selection of the anaphors is not affected by markedness but by cross-linguistic influence and the use of L2 chunks.

Keywords: demonstrative NP, pronoun it, markedness, cross-linguistic influence, L2 writing