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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Academic Paper


Title: Crosslinguistic transfer in the acquisition of compound words in Persian–English bilinguals
Author: Farzaneh Foroodi-Nejad
Institution: University of Alberta
Author: Johannes Paradis
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Alberta
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: Persian, Iranian
English
Abstract: Crosslinguistic transfer in bilingual language acquisition has been widely reported in various linguistic domains (e.g., Döpke, 1998; Nicoladis, 1999; Paradis, 2001). In this study we examined structural overlap (Döpke, 2000; Müller and Hulk, 2001) and dominance (Yip and Matthews, 2000) as explanatory factors for crosslinguistic transfer in Persian–English bilingual children's production of novel compound words. Nineteen Persian monolinguals, sixteen Persian–English bilinguals, and seventeen English monolinguals participated in a novel compound production task. Our results showed crosslinguistic influence of Persian on English and of English on Persian. Bilingual children produced more right-headed compounds in Persian, compared with Persian monolinguals, and in their English task, they produced more left-headed compounds than English monolinguals. Furthermore, Persian-dominant bilinguals tended more towards left-headed compounds in Persian than the English-dominant group. These findings point to both structural overlap and language dominance as factors underlying crosslinguistic transfer.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 12, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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