Chinese Interference in Learning English Verbs
Mother tongue interference is defined as the use of elements from one's native language while learning a second one. Instances of Chinese interference in English learning can be found at the level of pronunciation, morphology, syntax, vocabulary and meaning.
English and Chinese verbs, although similar in many aspects, have some subtle but significant differences in semantic composition, bringing difficulties to Chinese students in learning English verbs.
1. The semantic composition of verbs
According to Webster's New World Dictionary, a verb is "a word that characteristically is the grammatical center of a predicate and expresses an act, occurrence, or mode of being...". From this definition we can see that the semantic function of a verb is to describe a motion, may it be an act, occurrence, or mode of being.
However, motion itself cannot make up a motion event. There are other elements associated with motion such as direction (as in "take" and "bring"), manner (as in "prance"), aspect (as in "restart") and so on. All these associative elements, together with motion, constitute a motion complex.
- Chinese Interference in Learning English Verbs
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