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Title: Measure words in learning and teaching Chinese as a second language
Author: Zheng, Limei
ISNI:       0000 0004 5363 2626
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2014
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Chinese measure words (CMW) are obligatorily used between numerals/demonstratives and nouns/verbs to count the items and actions. Comparing with Chinese, strictly speaking, there are no measure words in English. This cross lingual difference causes difficulties in the English native speakers’ application of CMW when learning Chinese as a second language according to Lado‘s (1957) Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis (CAH), i.e. the language elements that are different from learners’ native language will be difficult for them. This study adopted an empirical study to find out how L2 learners’ application of CMW is and what the problems are. Before the empirical study, a new categorisation was generated based on the existing studies on CMW categories, and a comparative study was carried out to underpin the study. A questionnaire and a proficiency test were adopted to gather information about the participants of the empirical study. A CMW test was designed to collect data on the English native speakers’ application of different CMW categories and usages. The results of the empirical study suggested that CMW are difficult for the English native speakers who are learning Chinese as a second language. The results also indicated that even though English native speakers have difficulties in the application of most of the CMW categories, some are easier than others. The English native speakers are better at weights and measures, collective nominal measure words and container measure words than standard verbal measure words, borrowed verbal measure words, individual nominal measure words and temporary nominal measure words. Although the cross lingual difference between Chinese and English count for the difficulties, the complexity of some CMW is also the reason. After revealing the difficulties in the English native speakers’ difficulties, some suggestions on teaching CMW in second language learning and application were tentatively proposed.
Supervisor: Yang, Lan ; Pattinson, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available