'Negative Questions'에 해당되는 글 1건

  1. 2007.12.25 Father's Bilingual Family Project - Negative Questions. (1)

Father's Bilingual Family Project - Negative Questions.

Even native bilingual children show difficulties when they are first exposed to the radical differences between the two languages. One of those differences is 'negative question.' Unlike in most European languages, you have to say 'Yes' in East Asian languages when you agree to the given negative question. In this case, 'Yes' means, "I agree".

Therefore, for Asian people, answering to the negative question is quite hard to achieve. If you are among Korean or Japanese, you may hear quite often...

 Q: Haven't you had the hamburger?
 A: Yes. (... meaning that the answerer have not.)

So bilingual children do not easily distinguish the difference at first. My son, an Korean-Esperanto native speaker, had the same problem. In my son's case, Korean is far more advanced than Esperanto, because he listens a lot more Korean spoken by everybody except father. So he tended to respond in Korean way.

What makes more confusing is that the Korean word of affirmative answer 'Ne' (meaning 'Yes') is conincidently same with Esperanto word of negation 'Ne' (meaning 'No'). As the only Esperanto speaker around him, every time I have to guess his answer, whether he's responding in Esperanto or in Korean, when a negative question is given.

After a long period of corrections by me, my son Jinho, is now able to distinguish this kind of differences in the two languages quite well. For example, my wife says in Korean, "Haven't you been to the kindergarden, today?", Jinho answers 'Ne (Yes in Korean way)' noding his head up-and-down, but when I asks him in Esperanto right after, "Ĉu vi ne iris?" (Haven't you been?), he answers "Ne" (No, in European way) and swinging his head left and right.

It took long time to make this distinction. My way is to repeat everytime when he answers wrong for negative questions.
 
  Me: Ĉu vi ne tuŝis ĝin? (Haven't you touched it?)
  Son: Jes (Yes.) ... meaning that he haven't...
  Me: Jes, vi tuŝis? (Yes, you have?)
  Son: Ne. (No)
  Me: Ne, ne. Vi ne tuŝis! (No, no. You haven't.)

This way, I repeated and showed how I understood after negative questions, for at least 6 months. Now Jinho is 4 years old and shows clear distinction.

As for myself, I am not a good English speaker, and I feel uneasy whenever I listen a negative answer on a negative question.

Language is not what is to be learned by brain, but something to be aquired by skins, by hands, by heart and perhaps by butts.
 

--Nomota
 

Posted by nomota multilingual

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    This way, I repeated and showed how I understood after negative questions, for at least 6 months. Now Jinho is 4 years old and shows clear distinction.