ERIC Number: EJ781107
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Behaviours of "wh"-Words in English Speakers' L2 Chinese "wh"-Questions: Evidence of No Variability, Temporary Variability and Persistent Variability in L2 Grammars
Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, v10 n3 p277-298 Nov 2007
This paper presents an empirical study of how different "wh"-words behave in English speakers' L2 Chinese "wh"-questions. Our results indicate that L2 Chinese "wh"-questions are specified by the Chinese "wh" -particle ne and that there is neither variability nor L1 transfer in this aspect of L2 grammars as no "wh"-movement is found in English speakers' L2 Chinese. However, "wh"-words do not develop in a uniform fashion and different "wh"-words behave differently both synchronically and developmentally in English speakers' L2 Chinese. There is evidence for both temporary variability and persistent variability in some aspects of English speakers' L2 Chinese "wh"-questions. This is believed to result from breakdowns at the lexical morphology-syntax interface and morphosyntax-semantics interface levels in L2 Chinese grammars. We will provide an account for the no variability, temporary variability as well as persistent variability in English speakers' L2 Chinese "wh"-questions.
Descriptors: Semantics, Syntax, Vocabulary Development, Bilingualism, English, Second Language Learning, Chinese, Grammar, Transfer of Training, Morphology (Languages), Structural Analysis (Linguistics)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council, Lancaster (England).
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