THE ACQUISITION OF ENGLISH MULTIPLE INTERROGATIVES BY INDONESIAN SPEAKERS

Eri Kurniawan

Abstract


Abstract: This paper investigates the acquisition of English multiple interrogatives such
as Who did what? by advanced learners of English whose first language is Indonesian. The
underlying functional feature of multiple interrogatives is multiple focus features, which
are not available in Indonesian. Unlike English, there is no equivalent structure of multiple
interrogatives in Indonesian since wh-questions in this language are instantiations of unique
focus constructions. Acceptability judgment tasks were administered on four wh-pairings: whowhen,
who-where, what-when, and what-where. The first task was in the form of questions
with a pair-list answer and single answer, whereas the second was in the form of questions
within the contexts. Conjoined interrogatives were also added into the tasks in order to observe
the L1 transfer. The results clearly demonstrate that overall advanced learners of English were
significantly different from the English native speakers in their ratings of acceptability of
multiple interrogatives. However, the statistical data of each wh-phrase pairing demonstrates
that L2 learners performed like native controls in their ratings of most of the pairings. These
findings suggest that the present study lends partial support to Full Transfer/Full Access
Hypothesis and No Parameter Resetting Hypothesis.

Keywords


multiple interrogatives, multiple focus features, acceptability judgment tasks

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17509/ijal.v2i2.168

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