Predicting Chinese preschoolers’ acquisition of aspect markers: A corpus-based study

Hui LI, Luyao LIANG, Dandan WU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study explored the patterns and predictors of aspect marker acquisition of Chinese preschoolers speaking Mandarin Chinese as their first language (L1). Based on a corpus drawn from 157 preschoolers from Beijing, China, this study set out to explore (1) the developmental pattern of aspect marker acquisition; (2) the interactional pattern between grammatical aspect markers and lexical aspects; (3) the production of temporal adverbs with aspect markers; and (4) the predictors of aspect marker acquisition. The main research findings included the following: (1) the Jonckheere–Terpstra test revealed an age-related increase in children’s production of aspect markers, and in particular, there was a significant increase in grammatical aspect markers and lexical aspect subclasses from age 4;6 (Year; Month) onwards; (2) the Friedman’s ANOVAs indicated that -LE was frequently used in combination with most of the lexical aspect subclasses, among them the achievement was the most frequently co-occurring subclass, while the activities came second; (3) a series of Chi-square tests showed that using temporal adverbs in combination with aspect markers became increasingly common among older children; (4) the hierarchical regression analysis identified children’s preschooling experience as a significant predictor of their early aspectual development, after controlling for the other variables. Copyright © 2022 by the authors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number133
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


Li, H., Liang, L., & Wu, D. (2022). Predicting Chinese preschoolers’ acquisition of aspect markers: A corpus-based study. Languages, 7(2). Retrieved from


  • Aspect markers
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Preschoolers
  • Corpus-based study


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