Second Language Acquisition of Mandarin Aspect Markers by Native Swedish Adults
Studia Linguistica Upsaliensia No. 12

By Luying Wang
ISBN: 9789155484057
November 2012
Uppsala University
Distributed by Coronet Books
149 pages
$59.50 Paper Original

This experimental study investigates the second language acquisition of the four Mandarin aspect markers -le, -gou, -zhe, by native Swedish university students enrolled in Chniese language courses in Sweden. The main points of inquiry are acquisition order, the Aspect Hypothesis, the Distributional Bias Hypothesis and the Prototype Model.

The study contains a cross-secitional study and a longitudinal study. Both written ans spoken data are collected. The study shows that perfective markers are produced before imperfective markers. The results of the experiments are consistent with the Aspect Hypothesis. The Distributional Bias Hypothesis can account for most of the Aspect Hypothesis but there are exceptions that indicate that others factors could also influence the acquisition process, such as L1 transfer. The Prototype Model cannot be conclusively proven.

Apart from contributing to second-language acquisition theories on cross-linguistic tense-aspect morphology, this study can provide empirical evidence with significant pedagogical implications for the second-language learning classroom.

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