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Academic Paper


Title: German–English-speaking children's mixed NPs with ‘correct’ agreement
Author: Liane Jorschick
Author: Antje Endesfelder Quick
Author: Dana Glässer
Author: Elena V. Lieven
Institution: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Author: Michael Tomasello
Institution: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Subject Language: English
German
Abstract: Previous research has reported that bilingual children sometimes produce mixed noun phrases with ‘correct’ gender agreement – as in 'der dog' ('der' being a masculine determiner in German and the German word for “dog”, 'hund', being masculine as well). However, these could obviously be due to chance or to the indiscriminate use of a default determiner. In the current study, we established with high statistical reliability that each of three German–English bilingual children, of 2–4 years of age, produced such mixed NPs with ‘correct’ agreement at significantly greater than chance levels. Also noteworthy was the fact that all three children produced such NPs with German determiners and English nouns much more frequently than the reverse. These findings provide a solid statistical foundation for further studies into the phenomenon of mixed noun phrases with ‘correct’ gender agreement.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 14, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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