The present study investigated the relationship between lexical aspect and the use of negation by Mandarin-speaking children. In Mandarin Chinese lexical aspect interacts with negation. Mandarin has two primary negation markers, buand mei (both translated as English not). The two negation markers co-occur with verbs that denote different aspectual relations. Bu occurs with state and activity verbs, but not with accomplishment or achievement verbs, whereas meioccurs with accomplishment, achievement and activity verbs, but not with state verbs. Using a two-choice forced-judgement task, we assessed children's sensitivity to the interaction between lexical aspect and the two negation markers. The results show that children aged 4;7 and older manifested adult-like knowledge of how lexical aspect is conveyed by the two negation markers. Children between 4;0 and 4;5 were less sensitive to this property. Children younger than 4;0 responded at chance.
|Title of host publication||Selected Proceedings of the 5th Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA 2012)|
|Editors||Chia-Ying Chu, Caitlin E. Coughlin, Beatriz Lopez Prego, Utako Minai, Annie Tremblay|
|Place of Publication||Somerville, MA|
|Publisher||Cascadilla Proceedings Project|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
|Event||Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (5th : 2012) - Lawrence, KS|
Duration: 11 Oct 2012 → 13 Oct 2012
|Conference||Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (5th : 2012)|
|Period||11/10/12 → 13/10/12|
Zhou, P., Crain, S., & Thornton, R. (2014). Lexical aspect and the use of negation by Mandarin-speaking children. In C-Y. Chu, C. E. Coughlin, B. L. Prego, U. Minai, & A. Tremblay (Eds.), Selected Proceedings of the 5th Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA 2012) (pp. 150-156). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.