Acquisition of the Epistemic Discourse Marker Wo Juede by Native Taiwan Mandarin Speakers

Chun Yin Doris Chen*, Chung Yu Wu, Hongyin Tao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines the use of a fixed expression, wo juede (WJ) ‘I feel, I think’, in Taiwan Mandarin in the context of two types of oral production tasks: argumentative and negotiative discourses. The participants consisted of two groups used for comparison: one group of children from Grades 2, 4, and 6, and one group of adults (college students). The results show that both groups were more inclined to utilize WJ in argumentative genres than in negotiative genres. Of the seven pragmatic functions associated with WJ, the participants all had a strong preference to use WJ for the commenting/reasoning function. Developmental patterns gleaned from the data indicate that children’s language expands as their age increases. The implications of the findings for cross-linguistic comparison in the realm of epistemic modality are explored in this paper. This study contributes to the study of Chinese morphology by drawing more attention to the acquisition and development patterns of fixed expressions in larger chunks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number292
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec


  • Piaget
  • Taiwan Mandarin
  • epistemic modality
  • fixed expressions
  • wo juede

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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