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Complex predicates or small clause constructions are an argument structure feature of many languages, including English. One characteristic of these constructions is that they involve two predicates, a main verb and a secondary predicate, the combined meaning of which resembles a simple verb. The following examples are from Snyder (2001, p. 325):


   (1)  a. John painted the house red.                        (resultative)                            
b. Mary picked the book up/picked up the book. (verb-particle)            
c. Fred made Jeff leave.                  (make-causative)              
d. Fred saw Jeff leave.                   (perceptual report)            
e. Bob put the book on the table.              (put-locative)              
f. Alice sent the letter to Sue.                   (to-dative)          
g. Alice sent Sue the letter.                 (double-object dative)

The main verb paint combines with the adjective red in the resultative construction in (1a), and the main verb pick with the particle up in the verb-particle construction in (1b); constructions (1c) - (1d) show main verbs combining with the secondary verb leave. Based on the structural similarity among the complex predicate constructions, and reinforced by evidence obtained from child language acquisition data, Snyder and his associates have proposed that the complex predicate constructions constitute a natural class (Beck & Snyder, 2001; Snyder, 1995; Snyder & Stromswold, 1997; Sugisaki & Isob, 2000). Snyder (2001) goes on to claim that the complex predicate sentences are interrelated by shared dependence on a single parameter, the Compounding Parameter, and the global application of the parameter explains why the sentence types above are acquired concurrently by English-speaking children. The acquisition pattern of the complex predicate constructions by English-speaking children, thus, provides support for the Principles and Parameter's (P&P) approach to language acquisition, in which the language-specific knowledge being acquired is seen as 'global' rather than construction specific (Snyder & Stromswold, 1997, p. 282).
This article examines the status of the Compounding Parameter in the acquisition of English as an L2 by asking whether L2 learners of English exhibit an acquisition pattern similar to that of L1 English children in learning the complex predicate constructions. The availability of Universal Grammar (UG) and the possibility of parameter resetting in L2 acquisition have been leading issues among L2 researchers working within the generative framework. The study of the acquisition of complex predicate constructions can provide some insight into the question of whether L2 learners have access to UG and whether they can reset parameters. If the complex predicate sentences are interrelated by the Compounding Parameter, as was proposed by Snyder (2001), and if L2 learners of English still have access to UG, then the learners should acquire the complex predicate sentences as a group. If it turns out that L2 learners do not acquire the complex predicate constructions simultaneously, two possible explanations can be suggested: 1) the Compounding Parameter is not a valid theoretical construct, or 2) UG is no longer available in L2 acquisition.
The paper is organized as follows: Section 2 briefly discusses syntactic analyses of the complex predicate constructions, focusing on Larson (1988) and Stowell (1991), two of the several studies of complex predicate constructions that motivated Snyder's Compounding Parameter. Section 3 reviews language acquisition studies that examined the acquisition of complex predicate constructions in light of the Compounding Parameter: Snyder and Stromswold (1997) and Snyder (2001) for L1 English acquisition and Slabakova (2002) for L2 Spanish. In Section 4, results of analysis of L2 acquisition data collected from Korean children learning English as an L2 in naturalistic settings are presented. It is shown that there is no conclusive evidence to support the simultaneous acquisition of the complex predicate constructions in L2 English learning.

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