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Acquisition of the Wh-interrogative Construction by Japanese Junior High School EFL Learners
Megumi Hasebe and Hideki Maki
76-88 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


In this paper, we investigate the acquisition of yes/no and wh interrogative constructions in English by Japanese junior high school EFL learners. We administered the wh-interrogative formation test in English, which we created for this research, to 259 junior high school students in Japan. We found a significant difference in the level of acquisition (i) between the yes/no-interrogative construction and the wh-interrogative construction, (ii) between argument wh-extraction and adjunct wh-extraction, and (iii) between subject wh-extraction and object wh-extraction. Furthermore, we found that Japanese EFL learners experience 6 steps in the acquisition of the interrogative construction: (i) acquisition of the do-support operation, (ii) acquisition of subject extraction, (iii) acquisition of object extraction and regression of subject extraction, (iv) acquisition of adjunct extraction, (v) progress of object extraction, and (vi) re-acquisition of subject extraction.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 2012 Second Language Research Forum: Building Bridges between Disciplines
edited by Ryan T. Miller, Katherine I. Martin, Chelsea M. Eddington, Ashlie Henery, Nausica Marcos Miguel, Alison M. Tseng, Alba Tuninetti, and Daniel Walter
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Printed edition: $290.00