Article published in:The Acquisition of French as a Second Language: New developmental perspectives
Edited by Christina Lindqvist and Camilla Bardel
[Benjamins Current Topics 62] 2014
► pp. 143–165
Development of object clitics in child L2 French
A comparison of developmental sequences in different modes of acquisition
It has been argued that the study of child L2 development can inform different maturational accounts of language acquisition. One such specific proposal was put forward by Meisel (2008), arguing for a cut-off point for monolingual or bilingual first language acquisition — (2)L1 — type of development at 3–4 years. The paper analyses the longitudinal development of object clitics in child L2 French (L1 Swedish) and compares the developmental sequence in child L2 learners (n = 7) with different Ages of onset of Acquisition (AoA) (from 3;0 to 6;5) to the adult L2 sequence that was found in previous studies (Granfeldt & Schlyter 2004). The study also includes age-matched simultaneous bilingual children (n = 3) and monolingual controls (n = 5). The results show that some of the child L2 learners with an AoA over 4 years display structures that are typical of adult L2 acquisition, whereas these structures were not found in the simultaneous bilingual children or in the child second language acquisition (cL2) children with an AoA under 4 years. It is suggested that differences in developmental sequences are due to a combination of AoA and the level of L1 linguistic development at the onset of L2 acquisition.
Published online: 22 May 2014