Acquisition of non-canonical word orders in Mandarin Chinese

Yue Ji, Li Sheng, Li Zheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


To better understand Mandarin-speaking children’s acquisition of non-canonical word orders, we tested comprehension and production of Mandarin non-canonical active ba-construction and passive bei-construction, in comparison with canonical active SVO sentences among 180 children between three and 6 years of age. Our results showed that children had more difficulties with bei-construction compared to SVO sentences in both comprehension and production, but early problems of ba-construction only lied in production. We discussed these patterns in connection with two accounts of language acquisition which attribute language development to the maturation of grammar or to the exposure to the input, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1006148
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2023


  • ba-construction
  • bei-construction
  • language acquisition
  • Mandarin
  • word order

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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