Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Modern Languages

First Advisor

Vance Schaefer

Second Advisor

Christiana Christodoulou

Third Advisor

Whiteny Sarver


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



This study investigated whether learners of Japanese are less accurate in selecting appropriate reference of omitted subjects than native speakers and in which environment the learners have the most difficulties. Also, it looked into whether there is a correlation between the accuracy of the selecting and knowledge of the clue grammar. The survey had a subject selecting test and a knowledge test. The subject selecting test included two different environments: Giving/Receiving verbs and Honorific verbs. The knowledge test also covered these two environments. Giving/Receiving verbs have three types: ageru (give), kureru (give), and morau (receive); and Honorific verbs has two types: non-keigo (non-honorifics) and keigo (honorifics). Two groups participated in the study: native Japanese speakers (L1) and non-native Japanese speakers (L2) learning Japanese or have learned Japanese in the universities in the Unites States.The results showed that the L2 group was less accurate than the L1 group in the subject selecting test. The extent of the difference varied in types. For L2 speakers, selecting a subject with the environment of Giving/Receiving verbs was less accurate than with the environment of Honorific verbs. Also, the accuracy with kureru (give) type was the lowest. Finally, there was no correlation between accuracy in the selecting test and the knowledge test in L2 speakers. The results indicate that there is a difficulty for L2 speakers in understanding Giving/Receiving verbs and that a deep understanding of Giving/Receiving verbs is needed to retrieve the omitted subject properly.



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