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The Acquisition of Multiple wh-questions by High-proficiency Non-native Speakers of EnglishThe Acquisition of Multiple wh-questions by High-proficiency Non-native Speakers of English

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Title: The Acquisition of Multiple wh-questions by High-proficiency Non-native Speakers of EnglishThe Acquisition of Multiple wh-questions by High-proficiency Non-native Speakers of English
Authors: Bley-Vroman, Robert
Yoshinaga, Naoko
Advisor: Brown, James D.
Issue Date: 1998
Abstract: This paper investigates the knowledge of multiple wh-questions such as who ate what? by highproficiency non-native speakers of English whose first language is Japanese. Japanese grammar is known to license a wider range of such questions than English-who came why, for example– although the precise theoretical account is not yet clear. Acceptability judgmenb were obtained on six different types of such questions. Acceptability of English examples was rated by native speakers ofEnglish; Japanese examples were judged by native speakers of Japanese, and the English examples were judged by high-proficiency Japanese speakers of English. The results for native speakers judging their own language were generally in accord with expecrations. The high-level non-native speakers of English were significantly different from native speakers in their ratings ofthese sentences. However, the ratings were clearly not simply the result oftransfer. The consequences of this finding for theories of Universal Grammar in second language acquisition are discussed.This paper investigates the knowledge of multiple wh-questions such as who ate what? by highproficiency non-native speakers of English whose first language is Japanese. Japanese grammar is known to license a wider range of such questions than English-who came why, for example– although the precise theoretical account is not yet clear. Acceptability judgmenb were obtained on six different types of such questions. Acceptability of English examples was rated by native speakers ofEnglish; Japanese examples were judged by native speakers of Japanese, and the English examples were judged by high-proficiency Japanese speakers of English. The results for native speakers judging their own language were generally in accord with expecrations. The high-level non-native speakers of English were significantly different from native speakers in their ratings ofthese sentences. However, the ratings were clearly not simply the result oftransfer. The consequences of this finding for theories of Universal Grammar in second language acquisition are discussed.
Pages/Duration: 25 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/40793
Appears in Collections:Working Papers



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