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Article: An Analysis of Noun Definition in Cantonese

TitleAn Analysis of Noun Definition in Cantonese
Authors
KeywordsCantonese
noun definition
typological features
Issue Date2013
Citation
Language and Speech, 2013, v. 56, n. 1, p. 105-124 How to Cite?
AbstractThis study investigated the noun definitions given by Cantonese speakers at different ages. Definitional responses on six concrete nouns from 1075 children aged 4;10 to 12;01 and 15 adults were analyzed with reference to the semantic content and the syntactic form. Results showed that conventional definitions produced by Cantonese adult speakers were realized with specific superordinates and more perceptual than functional attributes. The content was carried by a syntactic frame, "NP1is NP2", where relative clause was not the predominant form of NP2 as in the English definition forms. Core attributes signifying the defining properties increased significantly with age while non-core attributes were observed relatively evenly throughout all groups. Preschoolers tended to drop the sentential-subject (i.e., NP1) and the copula is, and produce more functional than perceptual attributes. By Primary-2 (P2) (about 7;0), the taxonomic relation was coded with the frame of "NP1is NP2". Beginning at P4 (about 9;0), children included a superordinate but the specificity of the adult-like superordinate was not achieved even by P6 (about 11;0). In general, developmental trends accorded with the trends observed in other languages, but typological features played a role in framing the development of the syntactic form. © The Author(s) 2012.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/221440
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 1.041
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.782
ISI Accession Number ID

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorTo, Carol Kit Sum-
dc.contributor.authorStokes, Stephanie-
dc.contributor.authorMan, Yonnie-
dc.contributor.authorT'sou, Benjamin-
dc.date.accessioned2015-11-19T03:36:59Z-
dc.date.available2015-11-19T03:36:59Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationLanguage and Speech, 2013, v. 56, n. 1, p. 105-124-
dc.identifier.issn0023-8309-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/221440-
dc.description.abstractThis study investigated the noun definitions given by Cantonese speakers at different ages. Definitional responses on six concrete nouns from 1075 children aged 4;10 to 12;01 and 15 adults were analyzed with reference to the semantic content and the syntactic form. Results showed that conventional definitions produced by Cantonese adult speakers were realized with specific superordinates and more perceptual than functional attributes. The content was carried by a syntactic frame, "NP1is NP2", where relative clause was not the predominant form of NP2 as in the English definition forms. Core attributes signifying the defining properties increased significantly with age while non-core attributes were observed relatively evenly throughout all groups. Preschoolers tended to drop the sentential-subject (i.e., NP1) and the copula is, and produce more functional than perceptual attributes. By Primary-2 (P2) (about 7;0), the taxonomic relation was coded with the frame of "NP1is NP2". Beginning at P4 (about 9;0), children included a superordinate but the specificity of the adult-like superordinate was not achieved even by P6 (about 11;0). In general, developmental trends accorded with the trends observed in other languages, but typological features played a role in framing the development of the syntactic form. © The Author(s) 2012.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.relation.ispartofLanguage and Speech-
dc.rightsLanguage and Speech. Copyright © Sage Publications Ltd.-
dc.subjectCantonese-
dc.subjectnoun definition-
dc.subjecttypological features-
dc.titleAn Analysis of Noun Definition in Cantonese-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.description.natureLink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1177/0023830912440794-
dc.identifier.pmid23654118-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-84874573674-
dc.identifier.hkuros208529-
dc.identifier.volume56-
dc.identifier.issue1-
dc.identifier.spage105-
dc.identifier.epage124-
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000330288600006-

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