Chapter published in:Interfaces in Grammar
Edited by Jianhua Hu and Haihua Pan
[Language Faculty and Beyond 15] 2019
► pp. 301–340
The acquisition of nominal structure, word order and referentiality in Chinese
Corpus and experimental findings on the numeral phrase
The mapping between nominal structure, word order and referentiality in Mandarin Chinese is examined from an acquisition perspective. Two aspects of the syntax-semantics interface are investigated based on early naturalistic data and experiments with preschool children: the Subject Specificity Constraint, which prohibits non-specific individual-denoting numeral phrases in subject position, and the referential difference between two types of noun phrases containing a modifier: inner modifier nominals (IMN) and outer modifier nominals (OWN) . Our findings reveal adult-like distribution of nominal types and an early sensitivity to the Subject Specificity Constraint. Given the poverty of the stimulus, the semantic difference between the two types of modified nominals, reflected in interactions with stress and focus, appears to be a late acquired interface property in child grammar.
Published online: 15 April 2019
Cormack, Annabel. and Ruth Kempson
Cheng, L.-S. Lisa. and Rint Sybesma
De Cat, C.
Del Gobbo, Francesca
Ding, Shengshu et al.
Emslie, Hazel. and Rosemary Stevenson
Erbaugh, Mary S.
2001 The Chinese Pear Stories: Narratives across seven dialects, www.pearstories.org. Retrieved on December 1, 2012. http://www.easybib.com/reference/guide/apa/website
Fodor, J. and Ivan A. Sag
Hawkins, John A.
Von Heusinger, Klaus
Hickmann, Maya. and H. Hendriks
Hickman, Maya. and J. C.-P. Liang
Huang, Cheng-Teh James
Lee, Thomas H.-T. and Zhuang Wu
2011 A corpus-based analysis of the subject specificity constraint in Mandarin Chinese. Paper presented at the 19th Annual Conference of the International Association of Chinese Linguistics , June 11–13, Nankai University.
2012 Children’s knowledge of the mapping between nominal structure and specificity in Mandarin. Paper presented at Graduate Institute of Linguistics, April 9, National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan.
Li, Charles and S. Thompson
Li, Yen-Hui Audrey
Lu, Shuo and Haihua Pan
Ming, Tao and Liang Chen
Schafer, R. and J. de Villiers
Tsai, Wei-tien Dylan
van Hout, A., Harrigan, K., & de Villiers, J.
Warden, David A.
Wu, Zhuang, Rong Huang and Zhenghao Zhang
2006 Syntactic complexity and productivity: A study of early verbs in L1 acquisition of Mandarin Chinese. Poster Presentation at the 30th Boston Conference on Language Development, Nov. 4–6, Boston University, MA, USA.