Volume 46, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1810-7478
  • E-ISSN: 2589-5230



Using corpus analysis and error analysis, this study investigates English-speaking, Japanese-speaking, and Korean-speaking Chinese learners’ acquisition of various meanings of in Mandarin Chinese, including its temporal meaning ‘still, yet’ as well as its abundant atemporal meanings involving addition, comparison and counter-expectation. We found a preponderance of misselection errors across the three groups of learners. The next most common error type for the Japanese-speaking and Korean-speaking learners was omission, while omission and over-inclusion were equally challenging for the English-speaking learners. Further analysis of errors in misselection shows that many learners failed to distinguish the temporal from the atemporal required in a concessive sentence for the counter-expectation meaning.

Available under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license.

Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Aosakul, Woraphras
    2011 A Comparative Study and the Error Analysis on Adverbs Hai, You, Zai in Mandarin and Ik and Corresponding Word in Tai. MA thesis, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou.
  2. Berlin, Brent, and Paul Kay
    1969Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Biber, Douglas
    2004 Historical patterns for the grammatical marking of stance: A cross-register comparison. Journal of Historical Pragmatics5.1:107–136. 10.1075/jhp.5.1.06bib
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jhp.5.1.06bib [Google Scholar]
  4. Biber, Douglas, and Edward Finegan
    1988 Adverbial stance types in English. Discourse Processes11.1:1–34. 10.1080/01638538809544689
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01638538809544689 [Google Scholar]
  5. 1989 Style of stance in English: Lexical and grammatical marking of evidentiality and affect. Text & Talk: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies9.1:93–124.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Biq, Yung-O.
    2004 From collocation to idiomatic expression: The grammaticalization of hao phrases/constructions in Mandarin Chinese. Journal of Chinese Language and Computing14.2:73–95.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Brugman, Claudia, and George Lakoff
    1988 Cognitive topology and lexical networks. Lexical Ambiguity Resolution: Perspectives from Psycholinguistics, Neuropsychology and Artificial Intelligence, ed. bySteven L. Small, Garrison W. Cottrell and Michael K. Tanenhaus, 477–508. San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers. 10.1016/B978‑0‑08‑051013‑2.50022‑7
    https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-051013-2.50022-7 [Google Scholar]
  8. Cai, Jinting
    2013 Lexical transfer in Chinese EFL learners’ motion event expressions: Group tendency and individual variation. Paper presented at the2nd SLA Summit Forum in China, Ningbo.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Chao, Yuen Ren
    1968A Grammar of Spoken Chinese. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Chen, Fred Jyun-gwang
    2006 Interplay between forward and backword transfer in L2 and L1 writing: The case of Chinese ESL learners in the US. Concentric: Studies in Linguistics32.1:147–196.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Corder, Stephen Pit
    1967 The significance of learners’ errors. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching5.1–4:161–170.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Donazzan, Marta
    2008 Presupposition on times and degrees: The semantics of Mandarin hai. Proceedings of the 20th North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics (NACCL-20), vol.2, ed. byMarjorie K. M. Chan and Hana Kang, 597–610. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Dulay, Heidi C., Marina K. Burt, and Stephen D. Krashen
    1982Language Two. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Ellis, Rod
    1994The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Goffman, Erving
    1967Interaction Ritual: Essays in Face-to-Face Behavior. Chicago, IL: Aldine Publishing Company.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Hou, Xuechao
    (ed.) 2004 Xiandai Hanyu Xuci Cidian [Dictionary of Modern Chinese Function Words]. Beijing: Peking University Press.
  17. James, Carl
    1998Errors in Language and Use: Exploring Error Analysis. Harlow, Essex: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Jiang, Xiezhong
    2013 Riben liuxuesheng Hanyu fuci hai de xide kaocha [A study of the Japanese students’ acquisition of Chinese adverb hai]. Haiwai Huawen Jiaoyu1:71–78.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Jing-Schmidt, Zhuo, and Stefan Th. Gries
    2009 Schematic meaning and pragmatic inference: The Mandarin adverbs hai, zai and you. Corpora4.1:33–70. 10.3366/E1749503209000215
    https://doi.org/10.3366/E1749503209000215 [Google Scholar]
  20. Jing, Xuanjiao
    2012 Hanguo Liuxuesheng Xide Chongfu Yi Hai, Zai, You de Pianwu Fenxi [The Error Analyses of Korean Students’ Acquisition of Repeated Meaning: Hai, Zai, You]. MA thesis, Jilin University, Changchun.
  21. Kleinmann, Howard H.
    1977 Avoidance behavior in adult second language acquisition. Language Learning27.1:93–107. 10.1111/j.1467‑1770.1977.tb00294.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1977.tb00294.x [Google Scholar]
  22. 1978 The strategy of avoidance in adult second language acquisition. Second Language Acquisition Research: Issues and Implications, ed. byWilliam C. Ritchie, 157–174. New York: Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Li, Charles N., and Sandra A. Thompson
    1981Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Li, Lin
    2009 A study of the factors in Relation to errors incurred from the acquisition of Chinese modal adverbs. Journal of Yunnan Normal University: Teaching and Research on Chinese as a Foreign Language Edition6:31–35.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Li, Yanze
    2011 Waiguo Liuxuesheng Chongfuyi Fuci Zai, Hai, Ye, You de Pianwu Fenxi [An Analysis on the Repeated-meaning Adverbs Zai, Hai, Ye, You: Errors Made by Foreign Students in Learning Chinese]. MA thesis, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian.
  26. Liu, Feng-hsi
    2000 The scalar particle hai in Chinese. Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale29.1:41–84. 10.3406/clao.2000.1565
    https://doi.org/10.3406/clao.2000.1565 [Google Scholar]
  27. Liu, Huijuan
    2009 Additive Particles in Adult and Child Chinese. Doctoral dissertation, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
  28. Liu, Huiying
    2011 Chuji Jieduan Riben Liuxuesheng Xuexi Hanyu Biao Chongfuyi Fuci Zai, You, Hai de Pianwu Fenxi [An Error Analysis of Japanese Students at Primary Level in Learning Chinese Adverbs Zai, You, Hai]. MA thesis, Central China Normal University, Wuhan.
  29. Lü, Shuxiang
    1980 Xiandai Hanyu Babai Ci [800 Words in Modern Chinese]. Hong Kong: Commercial Press.
  30. Ma, Zhen
    1999 Guanyu biao chongfu de fuci you, zai, hai [Concerning the adverbs you, zai, hai expressing repetition]. Xiandai Hanyu Xuci Sanlun, 128–142. Beijing: Yuwen Chubanshe.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Mandarin Teaching Center at NTNU
    Mandarin Teaching Center at NTNU 2008Practical Audio-Visual Chinese (2nd edition). Taipei: Zhengzhong Publishing Company.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Mao, Jingya
    2011 The Comparison of Hai, Zai, You, Ye and Analysis on Errors Made by L2 Learners. MA thesis, Central China Normal University, Wuhan.
  33. Norrish, John
    1983Language Learners and Their Errors. London: Macmillan Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Prator, Clifford H.
    1971 Phonetics vs. phonemics in the ESL classroom: When is allophonic accuracy important?TESOL Quarterly5.1:61–72. 10.2307/3586112
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3586112 [Google Scholar]
  35. Quirk, Randolph, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, and Jan Svartvik
    1985A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Richards, Jack C., and Richard Schmidt
    2002Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics (3rd edition). London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Rosch, Eleanor
    1973 Natural categories. Cognitive Psychology4.3:328–350. 10.1016/0010‑0285(73)90017‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0010-0285(73)90017-0 [Google Scholar]
  38. 1975 Cognitive representations of semantic categories. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General104.3:192–233. 10.1037/0096‑3445.104.3.192
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-3445.104.3.192 [Google Scholar]
  39. 1978 Principles of categorization. Cognition and Categorization, ed. byEleanor Rosch and Barbara B. Lloyd, 27–48. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Schachter, Jacqueline
    1974 An error in error analysis. Language Learning24.2:205–214. 10.1111/j.1467‑1770.1974.tb00502.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1974.tb00502.x [Google Scholar]
  41. Selinker, Larry
    1972 Interlanguage. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Learning10.3:209–231.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Shen, Jiaxuan
    2001 Gen fuci hai youguan de liangge jushi [Two constructions with hai in Mandarin Chinese]. Zhongguo Yuwen6:483–493.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Traugott, Elizabeth Closs
    1995 Subjectification in grammaticalization. Subjectivity and Subjectivisation: Linguistic Perspectives, ed. byDieter Stein and Susan Wright, 31–54. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511554469.003
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511554469.003 [Google Scholar]
  44. Traugott, Elizabeth Closs, and Richard B. Dasher
    2002Regularity in Semantic Change. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Wu, Guo
    2009 Fuci hai de zhuguanxing yongfa [The subjective uses of the adverb hai]. Shijie Hanyu Jiaoxue3:322–333.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Wu, Ying
    2010Haishi de duoyixing yu xide nandu [On the polysemy of haishi and its difficulty in learning]. Huawen Jiaoxue yu Yanjiu4:41–48.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Yang, Ching-Yu Helen
    2017 On the syntax-semantics interface of focus particles: The additive particle hai ‘HAI’ in Mandarin Chinese. Lingua Sinica3, article no. 3. 10.1186/s40655‑016‑0018‑8
    https://doi.org/10.1186/s40655-016-0018-8 [Google Scholar]
  48. Yeh, Meng
    1998 On hai in Mandarin. Journal of Chinese Linguistics26.2:236–280.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error