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ERIC Number: EJ1163858
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jan
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Four-Year-Old Cantonese-Speaking Children's Online Processing of Relative Clauses: A Permutation Analysis
Chan, Angel; Yang, Wenchun; Chang, Franklin; Kidd, Evan
Journal of Child Language, v45 n1 p174-203 Jan 2018
We report on an eye-tracking study that investigated four-year-old Cantonese-speaking children's online processing of subject and object relative clauses (RCs). Children's eye-movements were recorded as they listened to RC structures identifying a unique referent (e.g. "Can you pick up the horse that pushed the pig?"). Two RC types, classifier (CL) and "ge3" RCs, were tested in a between-participants design. The two RC types differ in their syntactic analyses and frequency of occurrence, providing an important point of comparison for theories of RC acquisition and processing. A permutation analysis showed that the two structures were processed differently: CL RCs showed a significant object-over-subject advantage, whereas "ge3" RCs showed the opposite effect. This study shows that children can have different preferences even for two very similar RC structures within the same language, suggesting that syntactic processing preferences are shaped by the unique features of particular constructions both within and across different linguistic typologies.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A