Acquiring content questions in Japanese child second language
Processability ApprYches to Language Acquisition Research and Teaching
John Benjamins Publishing Company
School of Arts and Humanities
This longitudinal study examines the development of Japanese content questions in an English L1-Japanese L2 child within the Processability Theory (Pienemann, 1998). Our informant, John, started learning Japanese from 6;3 at a Japanese school in Australia. The data were collected between 7;0-8;9, where John produced 373 content questions. The developmental stages of content questions in Japanese L2 were hypothesised based on the Prominence Hypothesis. The analysis revealed that after the production of single-word questions, content questions appeared with a copula followed by lexical verbs, mostly in-situ, consistent with the Prominence Hypothesis. John produced errors concerning incorrect case particles being attached to the question words and NPs. These errors were not reported in monolingual and bilingual first language studies on content questions. These can be explained in terms of his current language acquisition stage.