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Korean-Chinese Bilingual Children's Comprehension of Korean Relative Clauses: Rethinking of the Structural Distance Hypothesis

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Authors
Lee, Kwee-Ock; Lee, Sun-Young
Issue Date
2004
Publisher
서울대학교 언어교육원
Citation
어학연구, Vol.40 No.4, pp. 1059-1080
Keywords
Korean-Chinese bilingual childrenKorean relative clausesStructural distance hypothesisLinear distance hypothesisCanonical sentence strategy
Abstract
This paper investigates the asymmetrical development of subject relative clauses and object relative clauses in the acquisition of Korean by Korean-Chinese bilingual children. The results of a picture-aided comprehension task with 96 Korean-Chinese bilinguals show that subject relative clauses are easier to understand than object relative clauses, supporting the structural distance hypothesis (O'Grady et al. 2003), but not the linear distance hypothesis (Hsiao & Gibson, 2003). At the same time, however, an analysis of children's errors leads us to ask a question on the structural distance hypothesis. Children's strategies for understanding the relative clauses such as the canonical sentence strategy and language-specific factors of Korean such as subject-drop and case markers are discussed as an alternative explanation for the subject/object asymmetry found in this stud y. We propose that language-specific factors should be taken into consideration in the study of acquisition of Korean relative clauses before uncritically ascribing the subject/object asymmetry to the structural distance hypothesis.
ISSN
0254-4474
Language
English
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/90796
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Language Education Institute (언어교육원)Language Research (어학연구)Language Research (어학연구) Volume 40 Number 1/4 (2004)
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