Acquisition of spatial concept and the Chinese nouns of locality of Pakistani students in Hong Kong

Lai Ying CHOW, Mei Ching CHAN

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Noun of locality acts as an indicator to identify the relationship of object location. Anderson (1971) and Lyons (1977) established the Localist Hypothesis and the Localism in the 70s’. They realized that spatial concept can derive other related vocabulary, particularly the extended meaning and metaphor, It plays an important part in the human cognition. When people try to express their spatial concept, direction, shape, or location of the object will be considered. However different culture of people will have very different spatial and locality concepts. Comparative analysis is employed for different meanings and usages of “shang(上)/up/on/in” and “xia(下)/down/under” as words of locality which are commonly used in Chinese, but are often misused by the L2 students (they are the Pakistani primary students in this study) due to the variety and asymmetry of “shang, xia” in their culture, including the two-dimension concept, three-dimension concept and the mechanical movement concept. Based on our analysis, we examine their literal learning difficulties, and to identify their misunderstanding and misuse of locality “shang, xia” on spatial concept. From the result of error analysis, it did reveal the very different spatial and locality concept of Pakistani students with that of the Chinese Hong Kong students. Through the contrastive analysis from linguistic and sociolinguistic perspectives of both languages and culture, it helps us to provide strategic help for the non-Chinese students with focus!
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008


Hong Kong
learning disorder


Chow, L. Y., & Chan, M. C. (2008, July). Acquisition of spatial concept and the Chinese nouns of locality of Pakistani students in Hong Kong. Paper presented at the International Conference on Education, Economy and Society, Paris, France.