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Write an assignment on Nina's Wh-questions?
If you have difficulty understanding the instructions or have questions of clarity, please post your questions on the ilearn discussion board, so that everyone can see the question and its response.
The homework questions must be completed on your own. If you are not familiar with the MQ academic honesty policy, please read it: http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html.
The assignment is due June 4; please upload it to Turnitin by midnight. Please upload a pdf file. The due date has been extended from Friday June 1 to Monday June 4.
This assignment will be marked out of 100 points, and is worth 25% of your final grade. Note the word limits in this assignment.
In this assignment, you will do some research examining Nina's wh-questions and also questions from her mother's input. Nina's transcripts are from the Suppes corpus, which is in the North American English folder on CHILDES. Our research will be investigating whether Nina's questions provide support or evidence against either the generative theory of acquisition or the constructivist theory.
The Rowland and Pine (2000) article from the Journal of Child Language will be useful for this assignment. If you choose to draw on other literature in answering the questions, please reference it, using APA style.
Data Searches: Nina's questions
Since searching the database and analyzing data is time consuming, I have done this part for you. I have searched for Nina's wh-questions and imported them into an Excel spreadsheet. I have divided the 8 files I have analysed into 2 time periods, files 2;9.13 to 2;10.06 and 2;10.13 to 2;11.06, which are displayed in two different tabs in the Excel spreadsheet. Nina's questions are analysed by:
- whether she uses I to C movement/subject-aux inversion (I to C in the spreadsheet but I use these terms interchangeably)
- whether she uses an auxiliary or modal but it is in the wrong position (No I to C), and
- whether the auxiliary verb is missing altogether (No Aux)
Questions that target the object position and questions that target the adjunct position are analysed separately.
In Nina's questions, the following are excluded:
- One word questions (e.g. 'What')
- Embedded questions (e.g. ('Do you) know what I like?')
- Repeated questions (if the child asks exactly the same question immediately after the previous one. I judged this just by line numbers and did not consult context (just to save time, not because it's the best way to do it).
- Set expressions (e.g. 'How do you do?')
Questions that target the subject position are in the spreadsheet, but we won't use them since these don't require I to C movement.