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ERIC Number: EJ1078589
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0142-7237
Asking for Action or Information? Crosslinguistic Comparison of Interrogative Functions in Early Child Cantonese and Mandarin
Li, Hui; Wong, Eileen Chin Mei; Tse, Shek Kam; Leung, Shing On; Ye, Qianling
First Language, v35 n3 p213-218 Jun 2015
Request for information (RfI) is believed to be the universally dominant function of young children's questioning, whereas request for action (RfA) has been reported to be the leading interrogative form used in early child Cantonese. The possibility of crosslinguistic variability prompts further research and comparison with additional languages. This study compares the interrogatives elicited from two early Chinese language corpora: Early Childhood Cantonese Corpus (ECCC) and Early Childhood Mandarin (ECMC). Altogether, 1214 and 942 question types were elicited from ECCC and ECMC, respectively. Analyses indicated that: (1) all the interrogative functions identified in an earlier study of Cantonese were also observed in the early Mandarin interrrogatives; and (2) both RfA (49.9%) and RfI (45.5%) were the most frequently observed functions of early child Chinese interrogatives. This crosslinguistic evidence suggests that follow-up studies are needed to further explore the possible influences of language, culture and communication tasks on children's uses of interrogative forms.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong