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Title: The Acquisition of the Chinese ba-construction
Written By: Hang Du
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Language Acquisition 16
Description:

The ba-construction is probably the best-known syntactic construction in
Modern Standard Chinese, but little has been done on the acquisition of it
by second language learners. This study fills this gap. The theoretical
framework is Liu's (1997) aspectual analysis of ba. The study is
experimental. The constraint on the ba-NP and the constraint on the ba-VP
were investigated. The subjects were 65 students learning Chinese in the
intensive Chinese program at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) in
Monterey, California. They were in three proficiency groups. A group of 20
native speakers of Chinese also participated as a control group. The study
involved two experiments based on video clips: production and
grammaticality judgments. The subjects were asked to indicate their
confidence in their judgments. Results were that even though the learners
generally produced fewer ba-constructions than the native speakers, their
judgments of most of the sentences were as good as those of native
speakers, indicating that they had some good knowledge of the construction.
Moreover, learners with similar production patterns showed different
patterns in their grammaticality judgments, suggesting that the two kinds
of data complement each other in our understanding of language acquisition.

Results also show that the confidence dimension captured subtle differences
that would not have been captured by the judgments of grammaticality alone.
Production patterns used by learners to substitute for the ba-construction
and error patterns have also been identified. Finally, the variation among
native speakers in their judgments of the ba-construction calls for a more
systematic study of exactly how native speakers of Standard Chinese use the
ba-construction, especially those who have been exposed to other Chinese
dialects.

Publication Year: 2006
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition
Subject Language(s): Chinese, Mandarin
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Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 3895863491
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 193
Prices: Europe EURO 58.00