Chinese preschoolers' acquisition of temporal adverbs indicating past, present, and future

a corpus-based study

Lu Yao Liang*, Dandan Wu, Hui Li

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    This study investigated the development of temporal adverbs in early childhood Mandarin. All cases of temporal adverbs indicating the past, present, and future were extracted from the Early Child Mandarin Corpus (168 children in four age groups: 2;6, 3;6, 4;6, 5;6). Data analyses indicated: (1) Mandarin-speaking children produced a repertoire of 21 types of temporal adverbs, and the children in the first age group (M = 2;6) were capable of using temporal adverbs to denote past, present, and future events; (2) within each age group, the children produced significantly more future temporal adverbs than the other two subtypes; and (3) there was a significant age effect that, with increased age, more children were able to produce all subtypes of temporal adverbs. Overall, findings of this corpus-based investigation shed light upon Chinese children's early-Attained ability to express the three fundamental notions of time by resorting to the appropriate linguistic devices.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)760-784
    Number of pages25
    JournalJournal of Child Language
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


    • corpus-based study
    • preschool children
    • Mandarin Chinese
    • temporal adverbs
    • temporal expression

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Chinese preschoolers' acquisition of temporal adverbs indicating past, present, and future: a corpus-based study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this