No subject

John Myhill john at RESEARCH.HAIFA.AC.IL
Sun Apr 27 03:39:55 UTC 1997

For, e.g. 'Is daddy coming?' my 5-year-old daughter has been saying
'Right daddy's coming?' (with the right intonation) for I think at least 6
months now, steadfastly resisting all efforts to teach her inversion. This
was preceded for a considerable length of time by 'What, daddy's coming?'
(again with the right intonation). She seems to be assuming that the way to
form questions is by prefixing an invariant particle ('right' or 'what')
and changing the intonation (like e.g. Japanese 'ka', except that 'ka'
comes at the end of the clause). In discussing how children learn this
construction, you do not say that researchers have noticed this strategy,
but my daughter seems to be quite taken with it. Is she pathological, or
have researchers just not noticed that this is how some young children try
to ask questions?   John Myhill

More information about the Funknet mailing list