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Academic Paper

Title: Cross-linguistic influence in the interpretation of anaphoric and cataphoric pronouns in English–Italian bilingual children
Author: Ludovica Serratrice
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Manchester
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This study reports the results of a picture verification task assessing the interpretation of intra-sentential anaphora and cataphora in Italian by a group of English–Italian bilingual eight-year-olds, a group of age-matched Italian monolinguals, and a group of Italian monolingual adults. No significant differences between the groups were observed in the choice of a subject antecedent for null anaphoric pronouns, and only marginally significant differences were reported between the adults and the two groups of children for the interpretation of null cataphoric pronouns. By contrast, overt pronominal subjects were accepted as co-referential with a subject antecedent significantly more often by the bilingual children than by the monolingual children and the adults in the anaphoric condition, and both groups of children accepted a subject as the antecedent of an overt cataphoric pronoun significantly more often than the adults. These results are interpreted in the context of language-universal and language-specific processing strategies in anaphora resolution in bilingual and monolingual acquisition.


This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 10, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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