Chinese aspect marker -le and its acquisition by American English speakers

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Chinese Linguistics
Issue number1
Online published18 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


This study investigates the functions of the perfective marker -le and its acquisition
by native speakers of American English from the perspective of the Aspect
Hypothesis (Andersen and Shirai, 1994). We set out to test the predicted order
regarding four verb categories in terms of their frequencies of -le marking. Our
results confirmed that -le was most frequently used with achievement verbs by
learners, but revealed deviated patterns of distribution in other categories when
they were compared with those of native speakers of Chinese. We discussed our
data further from the perspective of prototypicality, and provide pedagogical
implications to Chinese as a foreign language.

Research Area(s)

  • aspect marker -le, acquisition of Chinese, the Aspect Hypothesis, verb category