Article published in:Psycholinguistic approaches to production and comprehension in bilingual adults and children
Edited by Maialen Iraola Azpiroz, Shanley E.M. Allen, Kalliopi Katsika and Leigh Fernandez
[Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 9:4/5] 2019
► pp. 736–765
Production, comprehension and repetition of accusative case by monolingual Russian and bilingual Russian-Dutch and Russian-Hebrew-speaking children
The present study explores the acquisition of the Russian accusative [acc] case inflections in two groups of bilingual children (Russian-Dutch and Russian-Hebrew) who acquire Russian as their Heritage Language (HL) and two groups of monolingual Russian-speaking children within the Unified Competition Model (MacWhinney, 2008, 2012). Seventy-two typically developing children participated in the study. Children’s performance on three tasks was compared: elicited production, forced-choice comprehension and sentence repetition.The current study confirmed the predictions of the Unified Competition Model: monolingual children view the [acc] case inflection as a reliable cue. Conversely, bilingual children showed lower accuracy on nouns which require the use of a dedicated [acc] marker. Similarly, the percentage of children manifesting sensitivity to [acc] case cue was low in bilinguals. The findings of the study extend the Unified Competition Model to patterns of HL acquisition in bilinguals. Cue detection in HL for bilinguals is challenged when exposure is limited.
Keywords: accusative case, Russian, Heritage Language, the Unified Competition Model
Published online: 09 October 2019
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