NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ919801
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-0267-6583
Acquisition of the Constraints on "Wanna" Contraction by Advanced Second Language Learners: Universal Grammar and Imperfect Knowledge
Kweon, Soo-Ok; Bley-Vroman, Robert
Second Language Research, v27 n2 p207-228 Apr 2011
Contraction of "want to" to "wanna" is subject to constraints that have been related to the operation of Universal Grammar. Contraction appears to be blocked when the trace of an extracted "wh"-word intervenes. Evidence for knowledge of these constraints by young English-speaking children has been taken to show the operation of Universal Grammar in early child language acquisition. The present study investigates knowledge of these constraints in adults, both English native speakers and advanced Korean learners of English. The results of three experiments--using elicited production, oral repair, and grammaticality judgments--confirmed native speaker knowledge of the constraints. A second process of phonological elision may also operate to produce "wanna". Learners also showed some differentiation of contexts, but much less clearly than native speakers. We speculate that non-natives may be using rules of complement selection, rather than the constraints of Universal Grammar (UG) to control contraction. (Contains 7 figures, 4 tables and 10 notes.)
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 - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A