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Title: Four-year-old Cantonese-speaking children's online processing of relative clauses : a permutation analysis
Authors: Chan, A 
Yang, W 
Chang, F
Kidd, E
Issue Date: Jan-2018
Source: Journal of child language, Jan 2018, v. 45, no. 4, p. 174-203
Abstract: We report on an eye-tracking study that investigated four-year-old Cantonese-speaking children's online processing of subject and object relative clauses (RCs). Children's eye-movements were recorded as they listened to RC structures identifying a unique referent (e.g. “Can you pick up the horse that pushed the pig?”). Two RC types, classifier (CL) and ge3 RCs, were tested in a between-participants design. The two RC types differ in their syntactic analyses and frequency of occurrence, providing an important point of comparison for theories of RC acquisition and processing. A permutation analysis showed that the two structures were processed differently: CL RCs showed a significant object-over-subject advantage, whereas ge3 RCs showed the opposite effect. This study shows that children can have different preferences even for two very similar RC structures within the same language, suggesting that syntactic processing preferences are shaped by the unique features of particular constructions both within and across different linguistic typologies. Copyright
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Journal: Journal of child language 
ISSN: 0305-0009
DOI: 10.1017/S0305000917000198
Rights: This article has been published in a revised form in Journal of Child Language This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use. © Cambridge University Press 2017.
When citing an Accepted Manuscript or an earlier version of an article, the Cambridge University Press requests that readers also cite the Version of Record with a DOI link. The article is subsequently published in revised form in Journal of Child Language
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