This paper reports on an empirical study investigating the development of wh-words in English-speaking learners' L2 Chinese wh-questions. 107 English speakers were involved in the study including beginners and very advanced learners representing the final state of L2 Chinese grammars. It is found in the study that wh-words do not develop in a uniform fashion in L2 Chinese. Some wh-words behave variably only in the initial and intermediate states, but for some, the variable behaviours are so persistent that the variability remains even in the final state of L2 Chinese grammars. The variable behaviours are argued to be due to problems at the lexical morphology-syntax interface and at the semantics-syntax interface in learners' L2 Chinese grammars.
Proceedings of the 8th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2006): The Banff Conference
edited by Mary Grantham O'Brien, Christine Shea, and John Archibald Table of contents
ISBN 978-1-57473-416-4 library binding
v + 161 pages
publication date: 2006
published by Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA, USA