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Explaining variation in wh-position in child French: A statistical analysis of new seminaturalistic data

Katerina Palasis 1, 2 Richard Faure 2 Frédéric Lavigne 1
1 BCL, équipe Langage et Cognition
BCL - Bases, Corpus, Langage (UMR 7320 - UCA / CNRS)
2 BCL, équipe Dialectologie et Linguistique formelle
BCL - Bases, Corpus, Langage (UMR 7320 - UCA / CNRS)
Abstract : The two possible positions for wh-words (i.e., in situ or preposed) represent a long-standing area of research in French. The present study reports on statistical analyses of a new seminaturalistic corpus of child L1 French. The distribution of the wh-words is examined in relation to a new verb tripartition: Free be forms, the Fixed be form c’est ‘it is’, and Other Verbs. Results indicate that a discriminating variable is verb form (i.e., Free vs. Fixed), regardless of verb type (i.e., be vs. Other Verbs), and that there is a correlation between the wh-in-situ position and the Fixed be form. The Fixed be form is thus identified as the component that leads to wh-in-situ utterances, in contrast to other languages such as English. Overuse of the Fixed be form in child speech could also account for the predominance of wh-in-situ in child object questions compared to adjunct questions and child wh-questions in general compared to adult questions
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01870071
Contributor : Katerina Palasis Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, September 7, 2018 - 10:32:28 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 16, 2021 - 12:48:05 PM

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Katerina Palasis, Richard Faure, Frédéric Lavigne. Explaining variation in wh-position in child French: A statistical analysis of new seminaturalistic data. Language Acquisition, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2019, 26 (2), pp.210-234. ⟨10.1080/10489223.2018.1513004⟩. ⟨hal-01870071⟩

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