Acquiring long-distance wh-questions in L1 Spanish

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In this article we present data from an oral experiment eliciting LD (Long Distance) Wh-questions from a L1 Spanish child aged 4;9 at the beginning of the experiment. The purpose of the experiment was to observe the development of this structure and more specifically to compare the results with those reported in the L1 acquisition of English by Thornton (1990). The results show that the acquisition of LD wh-questions in Spanish, like in L1 English, is characterized by a stage where non-adult structures are produced systematically. These non-adult structures, known as Partial wh-movement and wh-copying, are concluded to reflect UG options since they obey the same characteristics as those in the natural languages which allow them such as Bavarian and Frisian.


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