Predicting Chinese and English interrogative development in a multilingual context

a corpus-based study of Singapore preschoolers

Hui Li, Dandan Wu, Luyao Liang, Mengguo Jing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study elicited and analyzed all the Chinese and English interrogatives from the Singapore Early Child Mandarin Corpus (132 children aged 2;6, 3;6, 4;6, and 5;6) to examine the effects and predictors of early bilingual development in Singapore preschoolers. The results indicated that: (1) there was significant age (but not gender) effect in the production of Chinese and English interrogatives; (2) relatively more types of English interrogatives were produced and more preschoolers produced English interrogatives; (3) Parent Language Input Pattern significantly predicted the increase of Chinese interrogatives, whereas Parent Language Input Pattern and Language Spoken by Child jointly but negatively predicted English interrogatives; (4) the pattern that both parents only speak Chinese was associated with the highest production of Chinese interrogatives and the lowest production of English ones, whereas the pattern that both parents only speak English had the highest production of English interrogatives; and (5) the ‘one-parent-one-language’ pattern was found to have a balanced but reduced production of Chinese and English interrogatives, indicating a subtractive bilingualism in Singapore preschoolers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Chinese and English interrogatives
  • corpus study
  • Early bilingual development
  • Singapore
  • subtractive bilingualism

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