The Acquisition of the English Plural Morpheme by Native Mandarin Chine-Speaking Children

Jia, Gisela
December 2003
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Dec2003, Vol. 46 Issue 6, p1297
Academic Journal
Although the acquisition of the English plural morpheme by monolingual English-speaking children (L1 learners) has been studied extensively, little is known about the processes through which native speakers of other languages (L2 speakers) acquire the English plural morpheme. To understand the similarities and differences between L1 and L2 English plural morpheme acquisition, 10 native Mandarin-speaking children who immigrated to the United States between ages 5 and 16 years were followed for 5 years. Their proficiency in English plural morpheme production was measured by a picture description task and by their spontaneous speech. In contrast to L1 learners who master the plural morpheme within 3 years of age, only 7 of these 10 L2 learners did so after 5 years of English exposure. Age of initial exposure to English and language environment explained individual differences to some extent. Participants' speech illustrated all error types made by L1 learners; however, L2 learners more frequently marked the same noun inconsistently in the same testing session, and more often overgeneralized the plural morpheme in singular or mass noun contexts. Differences between L2 learners and L1 learners with specific language impairment are also discussed.


Related Articles

  • RECALL AND ARTICULATION OF ENGLISH AND CHINESE WORDS UNDER MEMORY PRELOAD CONDITIONS. Him Cheung; Kemper, Susan // Language & Speech;Apr-Jun94, Vol. 37 Issue 2, p147 

    Investigates the effect of language on recall span under different memory preload conditions. Native English-speaking monolinguals' recall of certain English words; Chinese-English bilinguals' recall of both English and Chinese words; Advantage for 1-syllable words over 2- and 3-syllable words...

  • Does being bilingual in English and Chinese influence changes in quality of life scale scores? Evidence from a prospective, population based study. Thumboo, Julian; Yin-Bun Cheung; Machin, David; Pao-Hsii Feng; Mee-Leng Boey; Szu-tien Thio; Kok-Yong Fong; Cheung, Yin-Bun; Feng, Pao-Hsii; Boey, Mee-Leng; Thio, Szu-tien; Fong, Kok-Yong // Quality of Life Research;Mar2005, Vol. 14 Issue 2, p529 

    Background: Bilinguals differ from monolinguals in language use, but the influence of bilingualism on changes in Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) scores is not known.Objective: To determine the influence of bilingualism on changes in HRQoL scores.Research...

  • Parametric variation in subordinate evaluative negation: Korean/Japanese versus others. Yoon, Suwon // Journal of East Asian Linguistics;May2013, Vol. 22 Issue 2, p133 

    The main claim of this paper is that a general theory of what has been called 'expletive' negation in subordinate clauses should allow for the possibility of it occurring without being licensed by negative predicates, and more crucially that, contrary to the traditional term 'expletive', this...

  • Plurality in a Classifier Language. Li, Yen-Hui // Journal of East Asian Linguistics;Jan1999, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p75 

    This work argues that -men in Mandarin Chinese is best analyzed as a plural morpheme realized on an element in Determiner, in contrast to a regular plural on an element in N, such as the English -s. A nominal with a classifier has a Classifier projection: [D [Num [Cl [N]]]]. The plural feature...

  • Asymmetric syntactic and thematic reconfigurations in English speakers’ L2 Chinese resultative compound constructions. Boping Yuan; Yang Zhao // International Journal of Bilingualism;03/01/2011, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p38 

    This article reports on an empirical study investigating whether English speakers are able to reconstruct resultative compound structures in their second language (L2) grammars of Chinese. Results of an acceptability judgment test suggest that there are asymmetric developments in the syntactic...

  • Language Competition in an Ethnic Autonomous Region. Ojijed, Wuyuncang // Chinese Education & Society;Jan/Feb2010, Vol. 43 Issue 1, p58 

    The author uses the case of ethnic Mongols in Inner Mongolia on university campuses, using an extensive questionnaire. He investigated a bilingual university Inner Mongolia Normal University in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region that is established for Han majority and ethnic students. The...

  • Comparative study of notional passive in English and Chinese. Wang Yang-ting; Li Xiao-feng // Sino-US English Teaching;2007, Vol. 4 Issue 12, p47 

    This thesis is intended to give a contrastive study of the notional passive in English and Chinese, not merely analyzing the relationship between notional passive and passive voice, but summarizing the features and status of the notional passives in English and Chinese, with an aim to cast some...

  • The First Words Produced by Children in Bilingual English/Mandarin Chinese Environments. Levey, Sandra; Cruz, Denise // Communication Disorders Quarterly;Spring2003, Vol. 24 Issue 3, p129 

    The first words produced by children in bilingual environments where English and Mandarin Chinese are spoken were investigated. The goal was to determine if verbs would appear in the children's early productions, which would be consistent with the findings for the first words produced by...

  • Bilingual Cognitive Control in Language Switching: An fMRI Study of English-Chinese Late Bilinguals. Ma, Hengfen; Hu, Jiehui; Xi, Jie; Shen, Wen; Ge, Jianqiao; Geng, Feng; Wu, Yuntao; Guo, Jinjin; Yao, Dezhong // PLoS ONE;Sep2014, Vol. 9 Issue 9, p1 

    The present study explored the bilingual cognitive control mechanism by comparing Chinese-English bilinguals’ language switching in a blocked picture naming paradigm against three baseline conditions, namely the control condition (a fixation cross, low-level baseline), single L1...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics