City University of Hong Kong Dep
Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
Research Degree Forum
Learnability and Reflexive Binding in Child Mandarin
Ms. LI Ruya
PhD candidate, Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, City University of Hong Kong
Date: 14 July 2009, Tuesday
Time: 4:30 - 5:30pm
Venue: B7603 (7/F, Blue Zone), Academic Building, CityU
This paper presents an experimental study on Mandarin-speaking children’s acquisition of prominence involved in the reflexive binding. Reflexive binding involves not only the governing category which delimits the domain where a reflexive can be bound, but also prominence involved in the choice of the antecedent. The governing category is syntactically defined and is assumed to be part of UG which is innately endowed to the child. Prominence pertains to various linguistic properties such as grammatical functions, thematic roles as well as animacy. The choice of the antecedent for a reflexive requires the ability to integrate various prominence properties. As the acquisition of this ability involves learning and learning takes time, prominence is expected to be acquired later than the governing category from the perspective of learnability.
Ms. LI Ruya is a Ph.D. student from the Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics. Her research focuses on child language acquisition.
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