Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Vowel Length From Latin to Romance

By Michele Loporcaro

This book "draws on extensive empirical data, including from lesser known varieties" and "puts forward a new account of a well-known diachronic phenomenon."


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Letter Writing and Language Change

Edited By Anita Auer, Daniel Schreier, and Richard J. Watts

This book "challenges the assumption that there is only one 'legitimate' and homogenous form of English or of any other language" and "supports the view of different/alternative histories of the English language and will appeal to readers who are skeptical of 'standard' language ideology."


Academic Paper


Title: Focus identification in child Mandarin
Author: Peng Zhou
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.maccs.mq.edu.au/members/profile.html?memberID=222
Institution: Macquarie University
Author: Stephen Crain
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.maccs.mq.edu.au/members/profile.html?memberID=55
Institution: Macquarie University
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Abstract: In this study, we investigated how Mandarin-speaking children and adults interpret focus structures like Zhiyou Yuehan chi-le pingguo ‘Only John ate an apple’ and Shi Yuehan chi-de pingguo ‘It is John who ate an apple’. We found that children tended to associate focus operators zhiyou ‘only’ and shi ‘be’ with the verb phrase (VP), whereas adults uniquely associated them with the subject noun phrase (NP). To account for this difference, we propose that children initially treat focus operators as adverbials, thus ending up associating them with the VP. In order to assess our proposal, we examined children's understanding of zhiyou-constructions with negation, like Zhiyou Yuehan meiyou chi pingguo ‘Only John didn't eat an apple’. It was found that children, like adults, consistently associated the focus operator with the subject NP in this construction. The findings have an important bearing on language learnability, since negation assists children in reaching the adult-like interpretation.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 37, Issue 5, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page