Article published in:ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics
Vol. 155 (2008) ► pp. 23–52
‘I me Mine’ The Acquisiti on of Dutch Pronominal Possessives by L1 Children, L2 Children and L2 Adults
A Revealing Comparison
This study compares pronominal possessive constructions in Dutch first language (L1) acquisition, second language (L2) acquisition by young children, and untutored L2 acquisition by adults. The L2 learners all have Turkish as L1. In longitudinal spontaneous speech data for four L1 learners, seven child L2 learners, and two adult learners, remarkable differences and similarities between the three learner groups were found. In some respects, the child L2 learners develop in a way that is similar to child L1 learners, for instance in the kind of overgeneralisations that they make. However, the child L2 learners also behave like adult L2 learners; i.e., in the pace of the acquisition process, the frequency and persistence of non-target constructions, and the difficulty in acquiring reduced pronouns. The similarities between the child and adult L2 learners are remarkable, because the child L2 learners were only two years old when they started learning Dutch. L2 acquisition before the age of three is often considered to be similar to L1 acquisition. The findings might be attributable to the relatively small amount of Dutch language input the L2 children received.
Published online: 01 January 2008
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