The project »Narrative abilities in ›left-behind‹ ethnic minority children in China: Evidence from Kam-Mandarin bilingual children« is supported by Fritz Thyssen Fellowship (Ref. 40.20.0.002SL). The principal investigator is Dr. Wenchun Yang (Leibniz-Centre General Linguistics (ZAS), Berlin) and co-investigators are Dr. Angel Chan (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) and Prof. Dr. Natalia Gagarina (Leibniz-Centre General Linguistics (ZAS), Berlin). Kam, a minority language in China, belongs to the Tai–Kadai language family. »left-behind« children are those who remain in the rural areas, as their parent(s) left them behind and went to cities for employment.
This project addresses the following questions: i) Do the »left-behind« Kam-Mandarin bilingual children who are culturally and linguistically distinct from their European counterparts follow the common developmental trajectories reported in the literature? ii) How does this unique social-communicative environment affect the development of children’s narrative competence? iii) What are the relationships between narrative and lexical and morphosyntactic abilities? Children’s narrative production and comprehension abilities were assessed by MAIN (Gagarina et al., 2019) adapted in Kam (Yang et al., 2020) and Mandarin (Luo et al., 2020). Apart from the narrative skills, children’s language background, vocabulary, and morphosyntactic abilities were examined as well. Fifty-five Kam-Mandarin ethnic minority bilingual children aged 5 to 9 participated in this study. Data are now transcribing and analyzing.