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The acquisition of the wh-pronoun duo-shao 'much-little' in child Mandarin
Soochow University, Shanghai, China.
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7042-3576
2016 (English)In: A Festschrift for Stephen Crain / [ed] Nakayma, M. Ching, Y. Su & A. Huang, John Benjamins , 2016, 170-198 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The Mandarin Chinese wh-pronouns ji-ge ‘how many-CL’ and duo-shao ‘a lot-a little’ can be roughly translated in English as 'how-many' and 'how-much', respectively. When these two wh-pronouns interact with the negation operator mei ‘not’, there derive similar but not identical readings: while the negative ji-ge structure conveys a ‘smallness’ in number (i.e., ‘small-number’), the negative duo-shao structure conveys a ‘smallness’ in quantity (i.e., ‘small-amount’). Huang and Crain (2014a) studied Mandarin-speaking children’s acquisition of the ‘small-number’ reading of the negative ji-ge structure. It was found that children undergo three developmental stages in the acquisition of the ‘small-number’ reading of the negative ji-ge structure, exhibiting the emergence of the full range of the meanings of ji-ge in the course of language development. The present study extends the inquiry of Huang and Crain (2014a) and investigates the acquisition of the ‘small-amount’ reading of the negative duo-shao structure. The experimental data exhibit two developmental stages, which are argued to reflect the development of the semantic and pragmatic properties of the wh-pronoun duo-shao.  In short, the acquisition scenario of the negative duo-shao structure is different from that of the negative ji-ge structure, but both studies suggest that the semantic and pragmatic properties of Chinese wh-pronouns determine the acquisition of Chinese wh-pronouns in negative structures.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Benjamins , 2016. 170-198 p.
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-31414OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-31414DiVA: diva2:954102
Available from: 2016-08-19 Created: 2016-08-19 Last updated: 2016-08-22

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
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  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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More languages
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