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ERIC Number: EJ1140291
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
When Transparency Doesn't Mean Ease: Learning the Meaning of Resultative Verb Compounds in Mandarin Chinese
Chen, Jidong
Journal of Child Language, v44 n3 p695-718 May 2017
Children have to figure out the lexicalization of meaning components in learning verb semantics (e.g. Behrens, 1998; Gentner, 1982; Tomasello & Brooks, 1998). The meaning of an English state-change verb (e.g. "break") is divided into two portions (i.e. cause and result), respectively encoded with a separate verb in a Mandarin resultative verb compound (RVC). The majority of Mandarin monomorphemic verbs do not specify any realization of a state change (like "hunt"), or only imply it (like "wash") (Talmy, 2000). This study examines the acquisition of the constructional meaning of RVCs and the semantic division of labor between the component verbs. Four groups of Mandarin-learning children (aged 2;6, 3;6, 4;6, and 6;1) participated in an elicitation experiment. The results reveal that, although transparency in form facilitates their learning of the state-change meanings of RVCs, Mandarin children have difficulties in unpacking the meanings of individual verbs, revealing language-specific learning issues.
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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
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A