Article published in:Internal and External Factors in Child Second Language Acquisition
Edited by Aafke Hulk and Theodoros Marinis
[Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 1:3] 2011
► pp. 265–290
[ p. 265 ]The production and processing of determiner–noun agreement in child L2 Dutch
Recent research has shown that children who learn Dutch as their second language (L2) have difficulties with Dutch grammatical gender. This study shows that six to nine year old L2 Dutch children whose first language (L1) is Turkish noticed incorrect gender agreement between determiner and noun only if gender was marked on the noun. The L1 Turkish L2 Dutch children made more errors with determiner-noun agreement than monolingual L1 controls with matching language abilities. Unlike monolingual controls, L2 children’s accuracy with determiner-noun agreement was not facilitated by word frequency and vocabulary size. Children in both groups made fewer errors with neuter nouns if a cue on the noun marked a noun’s gender. We conclude that there is an asymmetry between L2 children’s processing and production of determiner-noun agreement, that grammatical gender develops gradually and that L2 children’s delay is rather caused by external factors related to a heterogeneous language environment than by internal factors.
Keywords: grammatical gender, child L2 acquisition, determiner-noun agreement, language environment, sentence completion, self-paced listening
Published online: 29 July 2011
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