Chapter published in:Three Streams of Generative Language Acquisition Research: Selected papers from the 7th Meeting of Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition – North America, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Edited by Tania Ionin and Matthew Rispoli
[Language Acquisition and Language Disorders 63] 2019
► pp. 225–251
The acquisition of Mandarin reflexives by heritage speakers and second language learners
This study investigates (a) whether heritage speakers (HSs) and second language learners (L2ers) acquire the properties of Mandarin reflexives and (b) whether HSs have an advantage over L2ers in acquiring the binding properties of Mandarin reflexives: taziji ‘himself/herself’, which requires local antecedents, and ziji ‘self’, which allows local and long-distance (LD) antecedents. Fourteen native speakers (NSs), 14 HSs, and 12 L2ers completed a Truth Value Judgment Task. Unlike NSs, HSs and L2ers predominantly allowed local but not LD interpretations, possibly due to English transfer and/or local binding as the default option. Regarding taziji, HSs patterned with NSs in accepting only local interpretations, while L2ers overaccepted the LD interpretations and underaccepted the local interpretations, possibly due to indeterminacy in judgments or misanalysis of taziji as the pronoun ta.
- 1.Introduction: Heritage speakers and second language learners
- 2.Long-distance reflexives in Mandarin
- 3.Previous studies on long-distance reflexives
- 3.1L1 acquisition of LD reflexive in Mandarin
- 3.2L2 acquisition of LD reflexive in Mandarin
- 3.3L2 versus heritage language acquisition of LD reflexives in Korean
- 4.Research questions and hypotheses
- 5.2Participants: Background and Mandarin proficiency
- 6.1Group results on mean acceptance of LD and local interpretation by group
- 6.2Proficiency-matched comparisons
- 6.3Individual results: LD preference ratio within each group
- 7.1Interpretations of ziji by native speakers
- 7.2Interpretation of ziji by heritage speakers and L2 learners
- 7.3Interpretations of taziji by heritage speakers and L2 learners
- 7.4Differences between heritage speakers and L2 learners: Age of acquisition and/or proficiency
- 9.Limitations and future directions
Published online: 15 April 2019
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