NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ873669
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Optional Elements and Variant Structures in the Productions of "Bei2" "to Give" Dative Constructions in Cantonese-Speaking Adults and Three-Year-Old Children
Wong, Anita M.-Y.; Chow, Dorcas C.-C.; McBride-Cheng, Catherine; Stokes, Stephanie F.
Journal of Child Language, v37 n1 p175-196 Jan 2010
To express object transfer, Cantonese-speakers use a "ditransitive" ([V-R-T] or [V-T-R] where V = Verb, T = Theme, R = Recipient), or a more complex prepositional/serial-verb (P/SV) construction. Clausal elements in Cantonese datives can be optional (resulting in "full" versus "non-full" forms) or appear in variant orders (full non-canonical and full canonical). We report on usage of dative constructions with the word "bei2" "to give" in 86 parents and 53 three-year-old children during conversations. The parents used more P/SV than ditransitive "bei2"-datives, and vice versa for the children. Both groups showed a similar usage pattern of optional elements and variant structures in their ditransitive and P/SV "bei2"-datives. The roles of multiple construction types, optional elements and variant structures in children's learning of "bei2"-dative constructions are described. (Contains 3 tables and 1 footnote.)
Cambridge University Press. The Edinburgh Building, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge, CB2 8RU, UK. Tel: 800-872-7423; Tel: 845-353-7500; Tel: +44-1223-326070; Fax: 845-353-4141; Fax: +44-1223-325150; e-mail:; Web site:
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