Minimality beyond lexical restrictions: Processing and acquisition of free WH-dependencies in European Portuguese

João Costa, Nino Grillo, Maria Lobo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Generalized Minimality approach to comprehension difficulties with non-local dependencies (Grillo 2005, 2008) predicts that in non-local dependencies (e.g. object relatives) a partial match in internal structure between the moved and the intervening DP can generate a minimality effect and lead to comprehension difficulties in several populations, including children and agrammatic Broca's aphasics. This paper presents two experiments on headed and free whmovement: a sentence to picture matching task with 4-5 year-old children and a selfpaced reading task with adults. In both experiments we observed minimality effects in the absence of lexical restriction in one of the DPs involved; these results shed light on the sensitivity of the minimality principle and bring further support to the feature based approach to intervention effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-160
JournalRevue Roumaine de Linguistique
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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