Edited by Susan H. Foster-Cohen and Anna Nizegorodcew
[EUROSLA Yearbook 1] 2001
► pp. 171–193
The present study is an analysis of the acquisition of French by German children who were exposed to the language for the first time at the age of approximately three years. I investigated the usage of the French gender system, namely gender attribution and gender agreement, in order to determine whether these children were acquiring French as a ‘second’ first language, as bilinguals do with simultaneous input of two languages from birth onwards, or whether they were acquiring it as a ‘first’ second language. The analysis of several measures demonstrated that the usage of gender-marking elements of most subjects was more similar to that of bilingual children than of child L2 learners who have first been exposed to French after the age of 6. This suggests that bilingual first language acquisition is also possible with first exposure to a foreign language at the age of approximately three years.
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