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English Speakers' L2 Chinese Wh-topicalization: Movement or Base-Generation?
Esuna Dugarova
45-53 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper examines whether a wh-topic is derived by movement or base-generation in English speakers' L2 Chinese wh-questions by testing the sensitivity of L2 Chinese wh-topicalization to syntactic constraints which are taken as a diagnostic of movement. The results of an acceptability judgement test and a multiple choice interpretation test show that the L2 Chinese grammars of advanced English speakers who have acquired Chinese wh-topicalization are sensitive to complex NP island, reconstruction and superiority effects. This provides empirical evidence that overt movement is involved in English speakers' L2 Chinese topicalized wh-questions. The study also detects persistent L1 transfer in non-native judgements of Chinese D-linked multiple wh-questions, which causes residual optionality in English-Chinese interlanguage grammars.

Published in

Proceedings of the 11th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2011)
edited by Julia Herschensohn and Darren Tanner
Table of contents
Printed edition: $240.00