Title: Processing non-canonical structures in Cantonese
Abstract: In the acceptability judgement tasks, native Cantonese speakers were asked to rate sentences that involve preposed sentence objects, while the canonical word order in Cantonese is subject-verb-object (SVO). The experiment tests the motivations for object-preposing by manipulating the information structure (neutral vs. restrictive contexts) and the involvement of sentence final particle. Tentative results show that participants preferred the OSV constructions in restrictive context (i.e. ‘Which book is John reading?’) than the neutral context (i.e. ‘What is John doing?’), although SVO was more preferred across all the contexts. The effect of having sentence final particles was not significantly observed. Follow-up studies will also be discussed.