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The Use of “Ná” and “Hold” Verbs by Bilingual PreSchool Children in Singapore

  • Ying Tong Yap
  • Helena Hong Gao
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10085)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Mandarin English Holding action verb Bilingual children Language acquisition 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Humanities and Social SciencesNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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