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Poor Performance on Scrambled Korean OSV Sentences by Korean Heritage Children: Performance, Not Competence
Kitaek Kim, William O'Grady, and Kamil Ud Deen
51-59 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Korean, a canonically SOV language with case marking, allows the object to scramble leftward over the subject. Korean monolingual children correctly interpret scrambled sentences at age 4, but Korean Heritage Children in the U.S. (henceforth KHC) exhibit difficulty even at age 12 (Song, O'Grady, Cho, & Lee, 1997). We report on a series of picture-selection tasks with KHC (n = 34; age range 8-14) showing that in a baseline scrambled condition, KHC do poorly, but when a context that supports a scrambled reading is included, or when the case markers are made prosodically prominent, they do significantly better. This indicates that failure to comprehend scrambled sentences in the baseline condition is not necessarily a deficit of knowledge, but may be performance related.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 5th Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA 2012)
edited by Chia-Ying Chu, Caitlin E. Coughlin, Beatriz Lopez Prego, Utako Minai, and Annie Tremblay
Table of contents
Printed edition: $320.00