A Cross-linguistic Comparison of the Acquisition of Why-questions by Young Children
GRIN Verlag, Jul 29, 2007 - 92 pages
Thesis (M.A.) from the year 2006 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: sehr gut (1.0), Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (Seminar fur Anglistik), 56 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Since Labov and Labov 1978 it is known that English-speaking children do not apply Subject Auxiliary Inversion uniformly across question types. In particular, inversion in why-questions still occurs at the low rate of 15% between 4;0 and 4;6. Recently Thornton (2004) suggested that non-inversion in why-questions is due to the fact that why occupies a position different and higher than other wh-words. In this view leaving why-questions uninverted is an option available in UG as in Italian (Rizzi 1999). Rowland and Pine 2000 investigating 6 types of wh-questions corroborate the findings of Labov and Labov (1978). In contrast to Thornton, they explain the non-occurrence of inversion in why-questions in a constructivist framework by the low frequency of input. In Germanic languages different from English, question formation does not only involve SAI but requires subject verb inversion for all verb types, whereas English requires do-support for main verbs. This property is due to verb-movement, namely V2. In these languages main verbs can raise to a position in the left periphery where the Wh-feature can be checked. In particular, a generative approach would predict for Germanic languages like German or Danish that children who have acquired the V2 property do not have difficulties with inversion in all questions types. A usage-based approach, however, would predict an input-dependent acquisition of inversion for every single question type since it is claimed that children do not use general operations or categories such as wh-elements. This study investigates the spontaneous production of questions in two German children with an age range of 3;1-3;7 and one Danish child with an age range of 1;00-6;1. The analysis s"
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acquiring a V2 acquisition of wh-questions acquisition of why-questions adult English adult grammar adult Italian adult-like questions allow analysis assumption Checking Constraint child English child grammar children acquiring clause clitic come-questions Continuity Hypothesis cross-linguistic current study Danish and German delayed acquisition Early Danish Early English empirical data English-speaking children finite verb Furthermore German children guage hence I-to-C movement IntP inverted Jens language acquisition learners of English linguistic input Maturation Hypothesis merged into CP negative value non-adult non-inverted why-questions null subjects option positive value positively set CMH primary linguistic data principles of UG processing load Proto-UG question words Ravem reason adverbs reason wh-elements Rizzi Santelmann satisfy the wh-criterion semantic account sentences set CMH parameter set the CMH statistical weight target grammar target value Thornton tions truncated uninverted questions uninverted why-questions usage-based account V2 grammar V2 language V2 parameter Variational Model VEPS verb movement Wexler wh-movement wh-subextraction wh-words
Page 81 - Clahsen, H., C. Kursawe and M. Penke: 1995, 'Introducing CP: Wh-Questions and Subordinate Clauses in German Child Language', Essex Research Reports in Linguistics 7, 1-28.
Page 20 - Wessen Buch glaubst du wessen Buch Hans liest? 'Whose book do you think whose book Hans is reading?
Page 15 - Reidun, already has this knowledge while his sister is still missing it. (13) RUNE: Why do you put the telephone on the front seat? REIDUN: Yes.
Page 20 - Wer glaubst du wer nach Hause geht? 'Who do you think who goes home)' However, in these German dialects, no complex wh-phrases are allow in the intermediate CP as in the ungrammatical (19).