Avoidance of L2 English Phrasal Verbs by L1 Thai Learners
Keywords:avoidance, English phrasal verbs, literal, figurative, L1 Thai learners
The purpose of this study is to investigate L1 Thai learners’ avoidance behavior with respect to English phrasal verbs. L2 learners are assumed to avoid an L2 feature that is different from or does not exist in their L1 (Schachter 1974; Kleinmann 1978; Liao and Fukuya 2004). It is hypothesized that L1 Thai learners would prefer using single-word equivalents to phrasal verbs, and if an avoidance occurred, they would avoid using figurative phrasal verbs more than literal ones due to their figurative meanings. The research participants were 52 university students of intermediate proficiency level. The data were elicited by administering a comprehension task, followed by a preference assessment task and a translation task. The results showed that the L1 Thai participants preferred using single-word verbs to phrasal verbs due to the non-existence of phrasal verbs in Thai. The avoidance behavior was also more evident with figurative phrasal verbs due to their semantic complexity. The avoidance behavior can be attributed to L1-L2 differences and the semantic complexity of phrasal verbs.
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