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Syntactic effects of feature-driven movement in Russian speakers’ L2 Chinese grammars

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Availability of wh-topicalization in Chinese raises a question as to whether a wh-topic in L2 Chinese is derived by feature-driven movement and, if it is, whether such movement is subject to syntactic constraints. The current study tests the sensitivity of very advanced Russian speakers’ L2 Chinese wh-topicalization to a complex NP island and reconstruction, which are taken as a diagnostic of movement. The results of an acceptability judgement test and a multiple choice interpretation test show that L2 Chinese grammars are constrained by a complex NP island and reconstruction, which provides empirical evidence that L2 Chinese wh-topicalization involves movement driven by an uninterpretable [+Top] feature.
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Keywords: complex NP island; movement; reconstruction; uninterpretable feature; wh-topic

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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