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Judging Difficulty

This exercise is based on the information provided in the section on Wh-Question Research Findings. In each pair of wh-questions below, one of the questions should be easier for deaf students to understand or to produce than the other question. Click on the letter (A or B) of the wh-question that should be easier for deaf students to manage.

1. A. Whose order did you fill?
    B. Whose order arrived late?

ANSWER
A: INCORRECT. B should be easier than A.
In B, whose order represents the subject position before the verb arrived.
In A, whose order represents the object position after fill.

ANSWER
B: CORRECT. B should be easier than A.
In B, whose order represents the subject position before the verb arrived.
In A, whose order represents the object position after fill.

2. A. When did that company become a corporation?
    B. Who did they recruit for that management position?

ANSWER
A: CORRECT. A should be easier than B.
In A, when represents an 'adjunct position' that pertains to time.
In B, who represents the object 'argument position' after the verb recruit.

ANSWER
B: INCORRECT. A should be easier than B.
In A, when represents an 'adjunct position' that pertains to time.
In B, who represents the object 'argument position' after the verb recruit.

3. A. Who did you say switched to an automated system of accounting?
    B. Who did you say we set up an automated system of accounting for?

ANSWER
A: INCORRECT. Although both questions are very difficult, B should be easier than A.
In B, who represents the object of preposition position after for.
In A, who represents the subject position before switched in the embedded clause.
For this reason, A has two verbs in a row: say switched.

ANSWER
B: CORRECT. Although both questions are very difficult, B should be easier than A.
In B, who represents the object of preposition position after for.
In A, who represents the subject position before switched in the embedded clause.
For this reason, A has two verbs in a row: say switched.

4. A. Who entered those expenses in the ledger?
    B. Who did you tell about those expenses?

ANSWER
A: CORRECT. A should be easier than B.
In A, who represents the subject position before the verb entered.
In B, who represents the object position after the verb tell.

ANSWER
B: INCORRECT. A should be easier than B.
In A, who represents the subject position before the verb entered.
In B, who represents the object position after the verb tell.

5. A. From whom did the lawyer collect the filing fees?
    B. Who collected the filing fees for the lawyer?

ANSWER
A: INCORRECT. B should be easier than A.
In A, from whom is a prepositional phrase that would normally occur after the filing fees.
In B, who represents the subject position before the verb collected.

ANSWER
B: CORRECT. B should be easier than A.
In A, from whom is a prepositional phrase that would normally occur after the filing fees.
In B, who represents the subject position before the verb collected.