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ERIC Number: EJ1209176
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1048-9223
Explaining Variation in "wh"-Position in Child French: A Statistical Analysis of New Seminaturalistic Data
Palasis, Katerina; Faure, Richard; Lavigne, Frédéric
Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics, v26 n2 p210-234 2019
The two possible positions for "wh"-words (i.e., in situ or preposed) represent a long-standing area of research in French. The present study reports on statistical analyses of a new seminaturalistic corpus of child L1 French. The distribution of the "wh"-words is examined in relation to a new verb tripartition: Free "be" forms, the Fixed "be" form "c'est" 'it is', and Other Verbs. Results indicate that a discriminating variable is verb form (i.e., Free vs. Fixed), regardless of verb type (i.e., "be" vs. Other Verbs), and that there is a correlation between the "wh"-in-situ position and the Fixed "be" form. The Fixed "be" form is thus identified as the component that leads to "wh"-in-situ utterances, in contrast to other languages such as English. Overuse of the Fixed "be" form in child speech could also account for the predominance of "wh"-in-situ in child object questions compared to adjunct questions and child "wh"-questions in general compared to adult questions.
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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