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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: Definite Discourse-New Reference in L1 and L2: the Case of L2 Mandarin
Author: Peter Crosthwaite
Author: Yuk Yeung
Author: Xuefei Bai
Author: Li Lu
Author: Yeonsuk Bae
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Pragmatics; Syntax
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
English
Japanese
Korean
Abstract: Definite discourse-new bridging reference (e.g., a school … the teacher; Clark, 1975) is a complex syntax-pragmatic component of referential movement, one that is subject to relatively opaque form-function contingency compared with forms used for discourse-old reference, and one that is especially prone to crosslinguistic influence. Research shows Asian second language (L2) learners of English struggle to produce bridging reference appropriately, yet little research has been done on the L2 production of bridging in Asian languages. We collected oral picture sequence narrative data from 80 lower-intermediate L2 Mandarin learners from first language (L1) English (+ article, n = 23) and L1 Korean and Japanese (- article, n = 57) backgrounds, alongside equivalent L1 data. Speakers of article-L1s were more likely than those from article-less L1s to use numeral + classifier noun phrases (NPs) for nonbridging referents and demonstrative + classifier NPs when introducing bridging referents, essentially (and infelicitously) using these constructions as de facto English-like indefinite/definite articles in their L2 Mandarin production. Speakers of article-less languages infelicitously marked bridging relations with nonbridging forms. These findings confirm substantial crosslinguistic difficulties for the L2 marking of this complex syntax-pragmatic phenomenon across relatively underexplored L1/L2 pairs.

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This article appears IN Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 40, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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