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A Study of Grounding in the Narrative Writing of Chinese L1 Speakers and L2 Learners
在前後景設置上，研究結果顯示漢語母語者在寫作短篇的前景句比率較學習者來說相對較低，通過變異數分析後，結果顯示母語者與學習者的數據具很顯著差異，前後景的分布符合後景向前景推進原則（Background-to-Foreground Progression, BFP），為數接近一半的前景句出現在篇章段落末句。
The concept of grounding is frequently used and generally accepted by discourse analysts in relation with narrative discourse. However, the binarity of foreground and background has been criticized for its rigidity. By adopting a more dynamic and holistic view, this study aims to (1) examine the concept of grounding and put it into practice with empirical work; (2) investigate the relationship and the interactions between the theories of grounding and temporal interpretation, which plays a key role in narrative discourse. The results show that the percentage of foreground clauses used by Chinese native speakers in their narrative writing is lower than for Chinese learners, and the ANOVA test results show that the difference is very significant. The distribution of foreground and background is in accordance with the Background-to-Foreground Progression(BFP), given that approximately half of the foreground clauses take the position of the last clause in paragraphs. Among the explicit forms used in foreground, the number of connectives including the category of temporal is highest in the groups of Chinese learners, while the Chinese native speakers take the verb complements as the main form. In the category of temporal connectives, time phrases and the adverbials expressing after-time are the two most widely used items. For time phrases, they are usually used in the initial clause of paragraphs, serving as a background and have a temporal location function. While the adverbials serve as a foreground and has a temporal advancement function. By examining these two forms closely, we found that Chinese native speakers tend to use the non-deictic forms of time phrases in their narratives, while the three groups of Chinese learners used a steady amount of the deictic forms, approximately equal to one third of the time phrases, regardless of their competence levels. For the after-time adverbials, the position which they take in the paragraph has a direct effect on grounding, while the explicit forms including the perfect aspect marker “le” and a verb complement, both representing the “boundedness” and as critical criteria for temporal advancement, have no direct effects on grounding. The last part of the study consists of an error analysis which focuses on errors found in the narrative writing of the Chinese learners, ranging from grounding to aspectual, lexical and adverbial information used in temporal location and temporal advancement. The pedagogical implications of these findings are two-fold: It is necessary to introduce discourse grammar, including the basic idea of grounding and subordination at the beginning stage of Chinese learning. The usage of the explicit forms which present in foreground and temporal advancement, including aspectual, lexical and adverbial information, as well as the interaction between these explicit forms are best realized and understood in narrative discourse.
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