The Acquisition Of Chinese Nominal Classifier Systems By L2 Adult Learners

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Title: The Acquisition Of Chinese Nominal Classifier Systems By L2 Adult Learners
Author: Liang, Szu-yen Neal
Abstract: The present study explores how L2 adult learners of Chinese acquire Chinese classifiers and provides pedagogical suggestions for more effective teaching of Chinese . 29 native speakers of Korean , 29 native speakers of English and 10 Taiwanese native speakers of Chinese were recruited to take part in three empirical tests to identify L2 learners' acquisition of various classifiers denoting shape , animacy , function , and event . The three tests are 1 ) Classifier Comprehension Test ; 2 ) Classifier Production test ; 3 ) Classifier Prototype Test . In the first test , subjects were asked to match an object that can be denoted by a Chinese classifier listed among other classifiers . The second test asked the subject to produce a classifier that can denote the object shown in a picture . In the third test , subjects were prompted with 6 classifiers and asked to list up to 5 entities that can be denoted by the classifier in question . Later on , they were asked to re -rank these entities based on their prototypicality to the classifier . Some of the results show that 1 ) there is a positive relationship between L2 subjects' performance and their Chinese proficiency level (CPL ) ; 2 ) in general , Korean subjects outperform English -speaking subjects ; 3 ) there are developmental sequence within shape classifiers and among different types of classifiers ; 4 ) both Korean and English -speaking groups show a certain degree of regression at various stages ; 5 ) with shape classifiers , the most typical objects produced by L1 subjects are also the most typical ones produced by L2 subjects ; 6 ) there is a great extent of overlapping between L1 and L2 subjects' cognitive association of objects with the classifiers tested . Finally , the results are explained and synthesized in light of theories including Stockwell , Bowen , and Martin's Hierarchy of Difficulty model (1965 ) , Krashen's Natural Order hypothesis (1987 ) , VanPatten's Processing Instruction (1993 , 1996 , 2002 ) , and Rosch's Prototype theory (1973 & 1975 ) . Based on the results in this project and the models examined , several suggestions are made with regard to teaching Chinese classifier systems to L2 adult learners .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /10106 /1726
Date: 2009-09-16

Citation

The Acquisition Of Chinese Nominal Classifier Systems By L2 Adult Learners. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /10106 /1726 .

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