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ERIC Number: EJ1106717
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Aug
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0142-7237
The Role of Resumptive Pronouns in Cantonese Relative Clause Acquisition
Lau, Elaine
First Language, v36 n4 p355-382 Aug 2016
Resumptive pronouns are often regarded as a last-resort strategy for rescuing illicit long-distance dependencies. Previous work has demonstrated a facilitative role for resumptive pronouns in production as well as in comprehension, though not a grammatical option in the languages. This study examined whether the same pattern is found in Cantonese, a language that allows resumption as a legitimate relativization strategy. Young Cantonese monolingual children were tested for both comprehension and production of object relative clauses using different relativization strategies (the gap strategy vs. the resumptive pronoun strategy). Although children did not perform better on either strategy in comprehension, and never employed resumptive pronouns in their production, resumption did prevent misanalysis of prenominal relative clauses as matrix clauses, suggesting that these elements help reveal the full structure of the relative clause to the processor. The study also showed better performance on subject than on object relative clauses, suggesting that the widely observed subject--object asymmetry also applies to Cantonese.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A