This week I was unable to talk to Mao over FaceTime, but we had the opportunity to e-mail back and forth. The following e-mail is one that I received from Mao:
hi,gab~today some guests will come to my house to celebrate the holiday.My mother told me just now. And I have to help my mother do some preparation. So today maybe I have no time to chat with you. I’m sorry. Since we have holiday you have finals this week. We can cancel it this week,ok? Wish you have a good mark in the finals~Don’t be too tired,take care of yourself~
In this e-mail, Mao continuously refers to “my mother” and avoids using the pronoun she and her. While I am speaking with Mao verbally, she does not mind using these pronouns because if she mistakes “her” for “his”, she is able to fix herself in her tracks. However, Mao was most likely unsure and didn’t want to make a mistake so that it was easier for me to understand the message she was trying to relay. I noticed here that Mao misplaces the periods in places. I am not sure why this is but I will look further into this aspect of the e-mail.
Here is another excerpt from an e-mail I received from her:
hi~ It is monday night this time. tomorrow is Thuesday. So i will be free tomorrow morning. Maybe you can tell your friends the message.
The interesting thing I found in this message was the spelling of “Tuesday”. Last week we had focused a lot on how she needs to place her tongue and mouth in order to achieve the “th” and “θ” sound and was most likely trying to show me that she understood. However, she over generalized the “th” sound and this is clear in her spelling of “Tuesday”.
Although I was disappointed to not talk to Mao last week, these e-mail’s relay very important messages into not only syntactical analyses but also into part of her culture.