Language acquisition

  • Helen ENGEMANN (Goethe-University Frankfurt)
    Learning to think for speaking about space in child bilingualism
    2016, Vol. XXI-2, pp. 49-64

    An unresolved question in early child bilingualism research concerns the extent to which the acquisition of semantic and conceptual domains is affected by age of onset. This paper compares how reference to caused motion events (Talmy 2000) is acquired in French by early successive and simultaneous bilingual children. Elicited event verbalizations reveal that both bilingual groups diverge considerably from monolingual children and manifest response tendencies mid-way between English and French monolinguals. The effect of age of onset is outweighed by language-specific factors that give rise to convergence strategies. This result is argued to be motivated by the lack of transparency associated with the French system and the partial overlap with English.


  • Frida SPLENDIDO (Lund University)
    Phonetic-phonological development of early second language French Support for a child second language (cL2) mode of acquisition in phonology
    2016, Vol. XXI-2, pp. 19-32

    This multiple case study focuses on phonetic-phonological development of L2 French in early Swedish-speaking learners. More specifically it describes the development of Voice Onset Time (VOT) and liaison in early L2 learners as compared to simultaneous Swedish-French bilinguals and monolingual French children. The results indicate that although the L2 learners present initial similarities with adult L2 learners, more advanced productions resemble those of simultaneous bilinguals. The data from this multiple case study thus appear to support the idea of a cL2 mode of acquisition also in the domain of phonology.