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ERIC Number: EJ875114
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 68
ISSN: ISSN-0142-7164
The Development of Aspectual Marking in Child Mandarin Chinese
Chen, Jidong; Shirai, Yasuhiro
Applied Psycholinguistics, v31 n1 p1-28 Jan 2010
Cross-linguistic research on the development of tense-aspect marking has revealed a strong effect of lexical aspect. But the degree of this effect varies across languages. Explanation for this universal tendency and language-specific variation is still an open issue. This study investigates the early emergence and subsequent development of four grammatical aspect markers in Mandarin, "-le" (perfective), "zai" (progressive), "-zhe" (durative), and "-guo" (experiential), in the longitudinal speech data of four children acquiring Mandarin Chinese. It was found that the emergence of grammatical aspect marking generally follows the predictions of the aspect hypothesis, perfective "-le" predominantly appearing with telic verbs, whereas progressive "zai" is almost exclusively used with activity verbs. However, the typological features of Mandarin also affect the early uses of "-le", which is used with stative predicates more frequently than predicted, and the input patterns play an important role in children's aspect marking. The results support a usage-based learning process in accord with a language-specific system of aspectual semantics, rather than a strong universal association of grammatical aspect and lexical aspect. (Contains 7 tables, 1 figure and 11 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A