NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1055274
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Apr
Pages: 32
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 75
ISSN: ISSN-0267-6583
Long-Distance Wh-Movement and Long-Distance Wh-Movement Avoidance in L2 English: Evidence from French and Bulgarian Speakers
Slavkov, Nikolay
Second Language Research, v31 n2 p179-210 Apr 2015
This article investigates spoken productions of complex questions with long-distance wh-movement in the L2 English of speakers whose first language is (Canadian) French or Bulgarian. Long-distance wh-movement is of interest as it can be argued that it poses difficulty in acquisition due to its syntactic complexity and related high processing load. Adopting the derivational complexity hypothesis, which has so far been applied to long-distance (LD) wh-movement in L1 acquisition and child second language acquisition, I argue that adult L2 learners also show evidence that questions with LD wh-movement are often replaced by alternative utterances with lower derivational complexity. I propose that such utterances, which are sometimes of equivalent length and with similar meaning to the targeted LD wh-structures, are avoidance strategies used by the learners as an intermediate acquisition resource. That is, such strategies are used as an escape-hatch from the derivational complexity of LD wh-movement. Overall, the results of this research indicate that the link between the number and complexity of derivational steps in a given structure is a fruitful area with strong potential in the second language acquisition field.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Bulgaria; Canada (Ottawa)