The acquisition of word order in yes/no and wh-questions - A case study of an unbalanced bilingual.
This thesis aims to explore the variation with which one bilingual child produces word order in English questions, and ask whether the child’s dominant language, Norwegian, affects this production. Using new data from a corpus where data collection is still ongoing, we present evidence that the child transfers the word order for questions in both standard Norwegian and the Tromsø dialect into her English, in both a facilitative and a non-facilitative way. The word order for questions in standard Norwegian and English is identical, verb in second position (V2), with the exception of questions where neither an auxiliary nor the copula BE is present in the initial structure. The word order for questions in the Tromsø dialect exhibits some optionality in certain wh-questions, in that wh-questions with a monosyllabic wh-element may be produced with the verb in third position (non-V2), depending on information structure. We conclude that the child’s production of word order in English yes/no and wh-questions is affected by her dominant language, but that the extent of said effect is uncertain due to limited data.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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