Measuring derivational awareness for Chinese-speaking adolescents

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Chinese is a morphologically rich language and converging evidence demonstrates that knowledge of Chinese morphology holds significant relations to several literacy-related skills. However, an area of morphology that has been relatively under-investigated is derivational awareness. Investigations of Chinese derivational morphology have been limited by a lack of technically sound measures. To fill this void, we developed the Chinese Derivational Awareness Measure, which comprises twenty items based on six suffixes. We piloted this measure with Chinese adolescents (n = 174) from seventh and ninth grades to provide reliability and validity evidence. We conducted classical item analysis, nonlinear factor analysis, and bifactor modeling to evaluate the technical qualities of the measure. Results showed that the items were largely adequate based on discrimination indices and various difficulty levels for seventh and ninth grade students. While factor analysis revealed factors related to types of derivational suffixes, bifactor analysis indicated a strongly reliable general factor. These findings support the use of the total score from this newly developed instrument for research on young Chinese learners’ derivational awareness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100039
JournalResearch Methods in Applied Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Linguistics and Language

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