Malaysian Chinese independent high school students' cognitive understanding of Take "Na" action verbs in Chinese : examples from "V + N" structures = (馬來西亞獨中生認知「拿」類手部動作動詞的機制－以「V+N」動賓結構為例)
Gao, Helena Hong
Date of Issue2014
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Similar to Taiwan and Singaporean Chinese, Malaysian Chinese has been developed by means of formal education at school as well as by taking Chinese dialects as a bridge to the lerning of the Chinese language, nonrmally known as Putonghua. Due to the similar complex language environments, Malaysian Chinese has become more similar to Singaporean and Taiwan Chinese than Putonghua spoken in Mainland China. Malaysian Chinese speakers are found to have a tendence in using certain lexical words more often than others. According to our experience and observation, the Malaysian Chinese speakers tend to use the verb Na “take” to describe many similar actions with different kinds of patient objects involved in the V + N structure. In this study we conducted an experiment based on our assumption that the structure of V (Na “take” action verbs) + N is a reflection of the Chinese speakers’cognitive process of the the event structure of taking actions. That is, the semantic domains that the patient objects of the Na “take” action verb belong to are correlated with the action manners of the Na “take” actions that the verb describes. The participants of the study were from three Chinese independent high schools in the southern part of Malaysia. These schools provide secondary education in the Chinese language as the continuation of the primary education in Chinese national-type primary schools. The experiment results were analyzed and discussed to show how the Malaysian Chinese speakers had the cognitive mapping between the Na “take” action verbs and their different kinds of patient objects. Discussions were given about how the speakers’ cognitive understanding of the Na “take” actions would activate the speakers’ prior knowledge of the corresponding action verbs and the semantic knowledge of their patient objects, which altogether would build up the linguistic structure of the verbs.
Taiwan journal of Chinese as a second language (臺灣華語教學研究)
© 2014 The Author(s). This paper was published in Taiwan Journal of Chinese as a Second Language and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of Association of Teaching Chinese as a Second Language. The paper can be found at the following URL: [http://www.airitilibrary.com/Publication/alDetailedMesh?docid=22211624-201406-201409110007-201409110007-19-40]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.