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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."


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Academic Paper


Title: An event-semantic account of spatial modification in the acquisition of Mandarin
Author: Xiangjun Deng
Author: Virginia Yip
Linguistic Field: Semantics
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Abstract: This study investigates Mandarin-speaking children's knowledge of event semantics in interpreting spatial modifiers with zai ‘at’ after a posture verb or before a placement verb. The event-semantic principles investigated include subevent modification (Parsons, 1990) and aspect shift (Fong, 1997). We conducted an experimental study using modified forced choice, video choice, and elicited production techniques with five groups of children (two- to six-year-olds) and an adult control group. Three-year-olds were sensitive to the ambiguity of zai-PPs with placement verbs and posture verbs, suggesting guidance from principles of aspect shift and subevent modification. On the other hand, distributional properties of the input play a role in acquiring the interpretation and word order of zai: e.g., four-year-olds significantly differed from adults in accepting non-target V-zai sentences, as some verb classes can take postverbal prepositional phrases with zai while others cannot in adult usage.

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This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 45, Issue 4, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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