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(English) Early Child Cantonese: Facts and Implications






De Gruyter Mouton




This book is the first publication on record that systematically and comprehensively addresses the acquisition and development of Cantonese in early childhood. It draws upon evidence from up-to-date reviews of associated literature, on the outcomes of numerous research studies conducted by the authors and on the outcomes of an in-depth study of the largest corpus of early childhood Cantonese. To supplement and illuminate published trends in the literature, carefully gathered reliable and valid empirical data are critically scrutinized. The evidence is used to clarify and examine theoretical assumptions and to outline putative developmental trends in early childhood Cantonese pragmatics.






Chinese is often considered very difficult to team by Western language users. Typically, Western language users are puzzled by the ideographic Chinese characters and Chinese grammar due to the significantly different characteristics of Chinese from some common Western languages such as Spanish, French, and English. This perplexity with Chinese further deepens when the written form of Chinese is taken into consideration- the written form varies across dialects such as Cantonese and Mandarin. Nevertheless, these characteristics have inspired Western scholars to learn and investigate effective approaches to learning Chinese.


To acquire Chinese, it is important to grasp the most basic language elements first. Therefore, it is inevitable to explore child language as reflected in the present study. In addition, the time between ages three and six is considered to be an important period of language development. During this period, children rapidly acquire their native language and develop their mental and physical capacity. Notably a delay in language development in the preschool years would result in the postponement of the acquisition of knowledge and communicative skills, making it difficult for follow-up education to remedy such a loss. Hence, language development in children is always an important topic in the field of psycholinguistics.

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