S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 40 Number 1/4 (2004)
Children's Strategic Processing of Korean Relative Clauses
- Jun, Jong sup; Lee, Chungmin
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.40 No.2, pp. 465-488
- Processing strategies for relative clauses have received much attention in the literature. Previous studies have approached the question by studying relative clauses (=RCs) in terms of both the main clause function and the embedded clause function of the head noun. This way, researchers could identify multiple processing strategies for RCs (cf. Clancy, Lee, & Zoh, 1996), but there has been Little attempt to explicitly tease apart RC-internal factors like the embedded clause function from RC-external factors like the main clause function. In this paper, we focus on such RC-internal factors as word order and animacy by placing RCs within the copula construction What is X?, where X is the NP that contains the RC in question. Our test design follows the picture-cued comprehension paradigm. The test sentences are in two dimensions: first, the subject relative vs. the object relative distinction; and secondly, RCs with lexical heads vs. RCs with the bound nominal head kes 'thing'. We have tested S9 monolingual Korean children, and found out that monolingual Korean children strategically process RCs, assigning the subject/actor role to the linearly first NP (i.e. the word order strategy), and to an animate NP (i.e. the animacy strategy). Comparison with earlier works also suggests that there is a quantitative, but not a qualitative, difference in language development, between bilingual and monolingual Korean children.