Chapter published in:Studies in Chinese and Japanese Language Acquisition: In honor of Stephen Crain
Edited by Mineharu Nakayama, Yi-ching Su and Aijun Huang
[Language Acquisition and Language Disorders 60] 2017
► pp. 147–164
Scrambling and locality constraints in child Japanese
Scrambling has been one of the central issues in the theoretical studies of Japanese syntax. Yet, there is still limited research that investigates children’s knowledge of this movement phenomenon, and further research is needed to obtain a deeper understanding of when and how children acquire various properties of Japanese scrambling. In this study, we conduct an experiment with Japanese-speaking preschool children to determine whether these children are sensitive to the locality constraints on long-distance scrambling. The results of our experiment confirm the findings from previous studies on short-distance scrambling that preschool children have adult-like knowledge of this movement phenomenon. More importantly, our findings add a new piece of evidence from Japanese for the hypothesis that properties of UG constrain the course of acquisition from the earliest observable stages (e.g., Crain 1991).
Published online: 24 August 2017
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