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Acquiring temporal meanings without tense morphology: the case of L2 Mandarin Chinese

Acquiring temporal meanings without tense morphology: the case of L2 Mandarin Chinese
Acquiring temporal meanings without tense morphology: the case of L2 Mandarin Chinese
This article reports on an experimental study addressing the second language acquisition of Mandarin temporality. Mandarin Chinese does not mark past, present, or future with dedicated morphemes; the native English of the learners does. It was hypothesized that, in their comprehension, learners would utilize the deictic pattern of expressing temporality, which postulates that bounded events tend to be interpreted as past and unbounded events as present. Twenty-eight bilingual native speakers, 25 intermediate learners, and 23 advanced learners of Mandarin with English as their native language took three different interpretation tests. Learners’ temporal interpretation choices were highly accurate even at intermediate levels of proficiency, suggesting that obeying the deictic pattern in second language comprehension is not hard. Pedagogical implications of these findings are discussed.
0026-7902
283-307
Slabakova, Roumyana
1bda11ce-ce3d-4146-8ae3-4a486b6f5bde
Slabakova, Roumyana
1bda11ce-ce3d-4146-8ae3-4a486b6f5bde

Slabakova, Roumyana (2015) Acquiring temporal meanings without tense morphology: the case of L2 Mandarin Chinese. The Modern Language Journal, 99 (2), 283-307. (doi:10.1111/modl.12216).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This article reports on an experimental study addressing the second language acquisition of Mandarin temporality. Mandarin Chinese does not mark past, present, or future with dedicated morphemes; the native English of the learners does. It was hypothesized that, in their comprehension, learners would utilize the deictic pattern of expressing temporality, which postulates that bounded events tend to be interpreted as past and unbounded events as present. Twenty-eight bilingual native speakers, 25 intermediate learners, and 23 advanced learners of Mandarin with English as their native language took three different interpretation tests. Learners’ temporal interpretation choices were highly accurate even at intermediate levels of proficiency, suggesting that obeying the deictic pattern in second language comprehension is not hard. Pedagogical implications of these findings are discussed.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 28 July 2015
Published date: 2015
Organisations: Faculty of Humanities

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 378850
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/378850
ISSN: 0026-7902
PURE UUID: 9fcef028-c295-496c-b22f-4d67179e54b5
ORCID for Roumyana Slabakova: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5839-460X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 Jul 2015 12:53
Last modified: 13 Nov 2021 05:01

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