Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
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This study examined the ability to comprehend conventional and non-conventional implicatures, and the effect of proficiency and learning context (foreign language learners vs. heritage learners) on comprehension of implicature in L2 Chinese. Participants were three groups of college students of Chinese: elementary-level foreign language learners (n=21), advanced-level foreign language learners (n=25), and advanced-level heritage learners (n=25). They completed a 36-item computer-delivered listening test measuring their ability to comprehend three types of implicature: conventional indirect refusals, conventional indirect opinions, and non-conventional indirect opinions. Comprehension was analyzed for accuracy (scores on a multiple-choice measure) and comprehension speed (average time taken to answer items correctly). There was a significant effect of implicature type on accuracy, but not on comprehension speed. A significant effect of participant group was observed on accuracy, but the effect was mixed on comprehension speed.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Chinese; conversational implicature; heritage learners; listening
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