Chinese Foreign Language Attrition: Investigating Aspect Marker Usage

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194292
Title:
Chinese Foreign Language Attrition: Investigating Aspect Marker Usage
Author:
Paul, Michael A.
Issue Date:
2009
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect that rote memorization has on language attrition. More specifically, the loss of grammatical aspect markers is investigated. This study measures the general language attrition of a memorized narrative and an open-ended narrative between time one (T1) and time two (T2) measurements. Attrition of the memorized narrative at T2 is compared to how well the subject had it memorized it at T1. The attrition of aspect is then investigated in both the memorized narratives and open-ended narratives. Aspect marker attrition in the memorized narratives is also compared to how well the subject originally had the narrative memorized at T1. Aspect attrition is then compared between the memorized and open-ended narratives to see the effect of memorization on aspect attrition. Lastly, a qualitative investigation examines the effect of telicity on correct and incorrect aspect marking. This study reveals that learners of Chinese who spend time in a Chinese-speaking environment and gain a fairly high level of oral proficiency retain much of their oral production abilities over a 12-year period. Additionally, subjects are able to retain and use syntax and lexicon from narratives they had previously memorized as beginning-level learners. However, significant levels of content and length attrition occur for both types of narratives. Aspect marker -LE is used the most frequently, but it also has the highest percentage rate of error. Other aspect markers are used less frequently, and have lower percentage rates of error. Attrition in type, variety, and usage of aspect markers is significant between T1 and T2. There is not a significant relationship between how well the subjects produced the memorized narrative at T1 and either their performance at T2 or the attrition of aspect markers in either narrative. The subjects tend to mark telic verbs for perfective aspect more frequently and correctly than atelic verbs. Pedagogical implications of this study include suggestions for teaching perfective aspect as well as designing curriculum for students who are re-learning Chinese. Finally, the author invites further attrition research focusing on the effect of memorization on fluency variables.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Acquisition; Attrition; Chinese; Linguistics
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
East Asian Studies; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Committee Chair:
Liu, Feng-hsi

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleChinese Foreign Language Attrition: Investigating Aspect Marker Usageen_US
dc.creatorPaul, Michael A.en_US
dc.contributor.authorPaul, Michael A.en_US
dc.date.issued2009en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe purpose of this study is to investigate the effect that rote memorization has on language attrition. More specifically, the loss of grammatical aspect markers is investigated. This study measures the general language attrition of a memorized narrative and an open-ended narrative between time one (T1) and time two (T2) measurements. Attrition of the memorized narrative at T2 is compared to how well the subject had it memorized it at T1. The attrition of aspect is then investigated in both the memorized narratives and open-ended narratives. Aspect marker attrition in the memorized narratives is also compared to how well the subject originally had the narrative memorized at T1. Aspect attrition is then compared between the memorized and open-ended narratives to see the effect of memorization on aspect attrition. Lastly, a qualitative investigation examines the effect of telicity on correct and incorrect aspect marking. This study reveals that learners of Chinese who spend time in a Chinese-speaking environment and gain a fairly high level of oral proficiency retain much of their oral production abilities over a 12-year period. Additionally, subjects are able to retain and use syntax and lexicon from narratives they had previously memorized as beginning-level learners. However, significant levels of content and length attrition occur for both types of narratives. Aspect marker -LE is used the most frequently, but it also has the highest percentage rate of error. Other aspect markers are used less frequently, and have lower percentage rates of error. Attrition in type, variety, and usage of aspect markers is significant between T1 and T2. There is not a significant relationship between how well the subjects produced the memorized narrative at T1 and either their performance at T2 or the attrition of aspect markers in either narrative. The subjects tend to mark telic verbs for perfective aspect more frequently and correctly than atelic verbs. Pedagogical implications of this study include suggestions for teaching perfective aspect as well as designing curriculum for students who are re-learning Chinese. Finally, the author invites further attrition research focusing on the effect of memorization on fluency variables.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectAcquisitionen_US
dc.subjectAttritionen_US
dc.subjectChineseen_US
dc.subjectLinguisticsen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEast Asian Studiesen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.chairLiu, Feng-hsien_US
dc.contributor.committeememberVance, Timothyen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberTroike, Rudolphen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberChristensen, Matthewen_US
dc.identifier.proquest10707en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659753492en_US
All Items in UA Campus Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.