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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

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Academic Paper


Title: Sentence interpretation by typically developing Vietnamese–English bilingual children
Author: Giang Pham
Institution: University of Minnesota
Author: Kathryn Kohnert
Institution: University of Minnesota
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: We examined developing bilinguals' use of animacy and word order cues during sentence interpretation tasks administered in each of their languages. Participants were 6- to 8-year-old children who learned Vietnamese as a first language and English as a second language (n = 23). Participants listened to simple sentences and identified the agent or “doer” of the action. English-only peers (n = 23) served as a comparison group. Results indicated that the bilingual group relied more on animacy than the English-only group when interpreting sentences in English and that the bilingual group used a blending or “amalgamation” of cues to interpret English and Vietnamese sentences. Significant within-group variation in cue preference was investigated as a function of age and proficiency in the first language and second language.

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This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 31, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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