ERIC Number: ED262566
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Personal Involvement and the Development of Language for Time-Aspect.
Erbaugh, Mary S.
Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, v24 p54-61 Aug 1985
A study of the time- and aspect-marking of 24-month-old native Mandarin-speaking children analyzed their language during free play, and matched fifty utterance samples containing active predicates with all utterances using the perfective suffix "-le." It was found that the children mentioned the future, particularly their immediate intentions, twice as often as the past. Features that correlated with the children's use of the "-le" perfective were found to be tied to the child's personal experience of events. Characteristics of the events included pastness, a clear end point, the re-enactment potential, transitivity, and agentivity, in that declining order of statistical occurrence. It is concluded that, in general, young children express their more elaborate time and aspect distinctions when they are talking about the events that affect them most directly. Personal involvement was found to be a far more powerful trigger for aspect marking than were syntactic or semantic factors. These results are found to parallel results of research on Turkish-speaking children. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A