Abstract：Abstract:From the perspective of English temporality and Chinese spatiality, this study examines“runon sentences” in the written language retrieved from Chinese Learner English Corpus (CLEC). As noteworthy errors of syntactical and textual nature, runon sentences have been frequently produced by Chinese EFL learners at different learning stages. By way of the analysis and qualitative survey of these errors and their counterparts in the learners mother tongue Chinese, the study further probes into the causation of these erroneous sentences. The results show that runon sentences in CLEC are a kind of unconscious and negative transfer incurred by the structural differences between English and Chinese. The root cause of the transfer lies in the English peoples preference for temporality and the Chinese peoples preference for spatiality in their thinking modes.
Key words:Chinese EFL learner; runon sentences; negative transfer; temporality; spatiality