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ERIC Number: EJ777547
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Aug
Pages: 23
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
The Acquisition of Cantonese Classifiers by Preschool Children in Hong Kong
Tse, Shek Kam; Li, Hui; Leung, Shing On
Journal of Child Language, v34 n3 p495-517 Aug 2007
The Cantonese language has a complex classifier system and young learners need to pay attention to both the semantics and syntax of classifiers. This study investigated the repertoire of classifiers produced by 492 Cantonese-speaking preschoolers in three age groups (3;0, 4;0 and 5;0). Spontaneous utterances produced in 30-minute toy-play contexts were collected and transcribed. Analyses identified a productive repertoire of 73 classifiers in the utterances, which could be appropriately classified into the typology proposed in the present study. An age-related increase in the number of classifier types per child as well as the repertoire size of each group was found. [Chinese character] "go3" (CL) was widely used as the general classifier by the young children. It was also discovered that the three-year-olds were already showing signs of grasping the basic syntax of classifiers. Cognitive, linguistic and contextual influences presumed to shape the evidence are discussed. [This research was supported by the Language Fund, HKSAR.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong