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Academic Paper


Title: Answering hard questions: Wh-movement across dialects and disorder
Author: Jill de Villiers
Institution: Smith College
Author: Thomas Roeper
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.umass.edu/linguist/faculty/roeper.html
Institution: University of Massachusetts
Author: Linda Bland-Stewart
Institution: George Washington University
Author: Barbara Zurer Pearson
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.umass.edu/aae/bp_indexold.htm
Institution: University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: A large-scale study of complex wh-questions with 1,000 subjects aged 4–9 years is reported. The subjects' dialects were Mainstream American English or African American English, and approximately one-third were language impaired. The study examined when children permit long distance wh-movement, and when they respect a variety of syntactic barriers to movement. Thirteen different structures were compared, and the results suggest that typically developing children and disordered children at all the ages studied are capable of long-distance movement and obedience to abstract barriers. In no case was dialect a significant factor in the children's linguistic performance on these tasks.

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This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 29, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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