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|Title:||Processing Grammatical Functions of Mandarin Locative Structures|
|Authors:||Charters, A. Helen|
|Abstract:||Pienemann (1989) argues that transfer of information from a Verb to its Subject, is more demanding than transfer within Nominal phrases because the former combines information from separate ‘iterations’ of conceptual structure, and the latter does not. I use data from a longitudinal study of Mandarin SLA to argue that, in fact GF assignment is a more significant contributor to processing demands than any conceptual separation of the Subject and verb. The evidence comes from possessive, locative and relative clause structures. Under Pienemann's account, the first two, which are purely nominal structures, should emerge earlier than RCs, where a GF must be transferred across a VP boundary. In fact, de-marked possessives and intransitive RCs are among the first nominal structures to emerge whereas de-marked locatives and transitive RCs emerge much later, even given intensive instruction (Zhang, 2002). If Pienemann’s basic premise is correct, and emergence times reflect processing demands, then the purely nominal locatives involve processing demands comparable to those of transitive RCs. I argue that the relevant factor is argument structure, and the information transfer involved in the assignment of GFs, not lexical category or conceptual divisions.|
|Appears in Collections:||ALS 2004|
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