SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION OF CHINESE CONJUNCTION ER (‘AND’): A CORPUS-BASED STUDY
Yi-Chun Tseng and Miao-Ling Hsieh
This study investigates L2 learners’ acquisition of the conjunction er in Chinese and their general performance in conjoining clauses within a four-tier categorization of er. Our findings show that at the initial stage, learners tend to use er to connect clauses that involve a subordination relation. The preponderance of this use of er by intermediate learners is in sharp contrast with the finding that native speakers use more er’s to conjoin sentences/paragraphs instead. Equally remarkable is the progress that learners made from conjoining at an intra-sentence level to an inter-sentence level, showing a developmental pattern in interlanguage. Finally, non-target errors are found to be largely due to an under-differentiation of the syntactic and semantic requirements of different conjuncts.
Key words: Chinese conjunction, er, second language acquisition, corpus