General programme, activity sheet

Wednesday 7 September, 2016 Poster
Linguistic Information Usage of Japanese Children Learning Artificial Case Markers
Speaker: Zhao Zhao, Hiroshima University

Authors: Akiko Zhao, Hiromu Sakai


Previous studies reported English speaking two-year-olds utilize the argument structure, especially the number of the arguments to learn verbs (Arunachalam and Waxman, 2010). However, in argument-omitting languages such as Japanese, children cannot utilize the argument structure in the verb learning (Imai, Haryu, Okada, Lianjing, and Shigematsu, 2006). It is still unclear if children who are acquiring a certain language with omittable arguments utilize the number of the arguments to learn case markers. Additionally, it is unclear if the utilization of the arguments differs among age groups. The present study examined how and what age Japanese children can utilize the argument structure to learn case marker “po (referring agent) ” and “bi (referring patient) ”. In order to investigate these points, we introduced “po” and “bi” to Children who were between four and seven years old. These children were divided according to age and the type of argument sentence introduced. One type was the two-argument sentence (SOV: “rabbit po bear bi pushed”), and the other type the one-argument sentence (SV: “rabbit po pushed”, OV: “bear bi pushed”) along with a video refering to the sentences respectively. In the test phase, we tested “po” and “bi” using four different types of sentences: SOV, OSV, SV, and OV. Results showed the 5 and 7 years old used one-argument sentences to learn patient markers. Children did not pay attention to patient marker, since they comprehended sentences by the word order of two-argument sentence. These results also suggest that in the argument-omitting languages, children utilize one-argument sentences they often hear to learn. Conversely, four year olds utilized two-arguments sentence in learning “po”, but they could not utilize one argument in learning “bi”. Six years old utilize two arguments and one-arguments in learning both “po” and “bi”.
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Coffee break and poster session
Place: Hall First floor area A

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