Operator-Variable Binding in the Initial State: A Cross-Linguistic Study of VP Ellipsis Structures in Chinese and English
This paper investigates the claim that the binding relation between an operator and a variable is part of the innate language faculty, in accord with a theory of Universal Grammar. We present results of a study of the acquisition of VP ellipsis structures in Mandarin Chinese. Children from 3 years, 5 months to 6 years, 11 months show early knowledge of the ambiguity in sloppy identity structures and of operator-variable binding. Results are compared to those from an earlier parallel study in English.
Cahiers de linguistique - Asie orientale, vol. 25, No. 1, 1996, 3-34.