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Evolutionary Syntax

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Academic Paper

Title: Cross-linguistic influence in French–English bilingual children's possessive constructions
Author: Elena Nicoladis
Institution: University of Alberta
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: The purpose of this article was to test the predictions of a speech production model of cross-linguistic influence in French–English bilingual children. A speech production model predicts bidirectional influence (i.e., bilinguals’ greater use of periphrastic constructions like the hat of the dog relative to monolinguals in English and reversed possessive constructions like *chien chapeau to refer to a dog's hat). In contrast, other explanations predict unidirectional influence from French to English. Possessive constructions were elicited from preschool French–English bilingual children as well as preschool French and English monolinguals within the same age range. The results showed bidirectional influence, consistent with a speech production model.


This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 15, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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