Variation of subject pronominal expression in Mandarin Chinese

Authors

  • Xiaoshi Li Michigan State University
  • Xiaoqing Chen Michigan State University
  • Wen-Hsin Chen Michigan State University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/sols.v6i1.91

Keywords:

Variation, Chinese, Subject Pronominal Expression, Sociolinguistics

Abstract

This study investigated the variation of subject pronominal expression in Mandarin Chinese. The data were collected from 20 speakers in three discourse contexts including informal conversations, elicited narratives, and teacher classroom speech. A multivariate analysis of 8,507 tokens revealed that the linguistic constraints that affect Chinese subject pronoun use include switch in subject referents, person/number/animacy of the subject, specificity of subject referents, and sentence type. In regards to social factors, age, gender and occupation were significant. Older speakers/teachers/females are more likely to realize subject pronouns than younger speakers/students/males.

Author Biographies

Xiaoshi Li, Michigan State University

Xiaoshi Li is an assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics and Languages at Michigan State University. Her research interests include sociolinguistics, second language acquisition, and Chinese language and culture. She has publications in Language Policy, Language Learning, Journal of Chinese Language Teachers Association, and Intercultural Communication Studies.

Xiaoqing Chen, Michigan State University

Xiaoqing Chen is a PhD candidate in the Second Language Studies Program at Michigan State University. His research interests include second and foreign language oral interaction and corrective feedback, individual differences, and sociolinguistics.

Wen-Hsin Chen, Michigan State University

Wen-Hsin Chen is a Ph.D. student in the Second Language Studies Program at Michigan State University. Her research interests include second language acquisition of morphosyntax, form-focused instruction, and Chinese language and culture.

Published

2012-12-31

How to Cite

Li, X., Chen, X., & Chen, W.-H. (2012). Variation of subject pronominal expression in Mandarin Chinese. Sociolinguistic Studies, 6(1), 91–119. https://doi.org/10.1558/sols.v6i1.91

Issue

Section

Articles