The Use of “Ná” and “Hold” Verbs by Bilingual PreSchool Children in Singapore
Verb forms a major category of lexicon in any language. As our daily actions consist of mostly hand actions, it is important for bilingual speakers to be able to use different specific hand action verbs to describe the corresponding actions. This study focuses on one particular type of hand action, namely, holding actions, to examine Singaporean bilingual preschoolers’ competencies in both English and Mandarin through their usage of holding verbs.
Thirty bilingual children between the ages of 3 and 6 were recruited for the study. In the experiment of the study, we used the standard PPVT-IV pictures and self-selected pictures of different holding actions as stimulus and asked the children to describe the actions in English and Chinese. The results show that most of the children used the Mandarin word “ná” (拿) and the English word “hold” for almost all the scenarios of holding in the experiment.
KeywordsMandarin English Holding action verb Bilingual children Language acquisition
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Chin, S.-C., Gao, H.: Malaysian Chinese Independent High School Students’ Cognitive Understanding of Take “Na” Action Verbs in Chinese: Examples from “V + N” structures. The Taiwan Journal of Chinese as a Second Language 8, 19–41 (2014). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
- 2.Tan, J.M.: Descriptions of physical actions by Singapore Bilingual Chinese Children aged 3-5: Positive Actions. Nanyang Technological University, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, pp. 1–10 (2015). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
- 3.Wang, H.: The acquisition of hand action verbs by English-Chinese bilinguals in Singapore. Nanyang Technological University, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, pp. 70–98 (2014). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
- 4.Wang, M.: A comparative study of the application of the Chinese “La” hand action verbs by monolingual and bilingual children. Nanyang Technological University, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, pp. 14–31 (2015). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
- 5.Gao, H.: Dă 打 polysemy. In: The Physical Foundation of the Patterning of Physical Action Verbs: A Study of Chinese Verbs, pp. 321–324 (2001)Google Scholar
- 6.Gao, H.: Parent Report Form for the Studies of Lexical Development in Bilingual Children in Singapore, English and Chinese Bilingual Versions. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2014)Google Scholar
- 7.Gao, H.: Children’s early production of physical action verbs in chinese. In: Wang, W.S.-Y., Sun, C. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Linguistics, Chapter 48, pp. 654–665. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK (2015)Google Scholar
- 8.Tardif, T.: Early vocabulary learning in chinese-speaking children. In: Wang, W.S.-Y., Sun, C. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Linguistics, Chapter 49, pp. 641–653. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK (2015)Google Scholar