Center for language, learning and motor disorders “Praxis and Logos”, Pereas, Greece
THE INTERPRETATION OF WH-MOVEMENT BY YOUNG GREEK SPEAKING CHILDREN
Wh-movement is guided and restricted by principles defined by Universal Grammar. The present study attempts to identify the rules and parameters which guide wh-movement interpretation by young Greek speaking children, and compare them with the rules and parameters which guide wh-movement interpretation found in other cross-linguistic studies. It was hypothesized that children speaking Modern Greek as their first language would:
a) allow long distance movement;
b) discriminate between arguments and adjuncts in movement;
c) not allow extraction from wh-islands; and d) discriminate between the two different meanings of “πως” ( = that/how ).
Twenty-one children of 3 and 4 years old were tested in Greek. The results of the study showed that children prefer long distance movement when there is no wh-barrier. The children also discriminated between the two meanings of “πως”. However, the children did not discriminate between arguments and adjuncts in movement and allowed some long distance movement over argument wh-barriers. A number of suggestions are offered in explanation of the two discrepancies.