Comprehension and production of double-embedded structures: A kindergardenpath in long-distance dependencies in Dutch school-aged children?

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    Complementation structures consist of a complex clause with a main verb that selects an embedded clause as its direct object. The structural and semantic properties of complementation are topic of many syntactic and semantic theories. Studies address a wide variety of syntactic and semantic constructions: long-distance movement and barrierhood, point-of-view phenomena such as direct versus indirect speech and sequence of tense, factivity, opacity, true versus false complements under verbs of saying and mental verbs. There is also a large body of research on the acquisition of complementation in the generative tradition. It goes back to the 80’s when researchers investigated long-distance wh-movement in children (De Villiers, Roeper & Vainikka, 1990; van Kampen, 1997; Oiry, 2008; Thornton, 1990). Other acquisition of complementation phenomena include: direct versus indirect speech (Hollebrandse, 2007), sequence of tense (Hollebrandse, 2000; Lungu, 2012), factivity (Schulz, 2003); referential opacity (De Villiers & Fitneva, 1996; De Villiers, 2001), and true versus false complements (De Villiers & Pyers, 2002). The tradition continues up until today, witness recent work on double embedding (De Villiers, Hobbs & Hollebrandse, in press; Hollebrandse, Hobbs, De Villiers & Roeper, 2008; Hollebrandse & Roeper, under review). The core question in this research tradition is: When do children acquire the properties of complementation? Our study presents a new angle on long-distance wh-movement by testing wh-questions with a super long distance between wh-phrase (filler) and trace (gap).
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLanguage Acquisition and Development: Proceedings of GALA 2013
    EditorsCornelia Hamann, Esther Ruigendijk
    Place of PublicationNewcastle upon Tyne
    PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4438-7553-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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