In Norwegian possessive constructions, the possessive may either precede or follow the noun. Monolingual children initially show a preference for the prenominal possessive construction, although it is much less frequent than the postnominal one in the adult language. A likely explanation is that postnominal possessives are structurally more complex. In this paper, we examine this word order variation in two bilingual populations, Norwegian-English children growing up in Norway and adult Norwegian heritage speakers in the USA. We expected both groups to exhibit a stronger preference for prenominal possessives than the monolingual children due to influence from English. However, we only find this in the bilingual children. One possible explanation is that, while complexity plays a major role in acquisition, high frequency protects against language attrition.
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Anderssen, Merete, Kristine Bentzen, Yulia Rodina and Marit Westergaard
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Johannessen, Janne Bondi, Joel Priestley, Kristin Hagen, Tor Anders Åfarli and Øystein Alexander Vangsnes
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This volume. “Variation and Change in American Swedish.”
2012“Forholdet mellom prenominale og postnominale possessive uttrykk. [The relationship between prenominal and postnominal possessive expressions].” In Grammatikk, bruk og norm [Grammar, Use and Norm], ed. by Hans-Olav Enger, Jan Terje Faarlund and Kjell Ivar Vannebo, 189–203. Oslo: Novus.
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Cited by 18 other publications
ANDERSSEN, MERETE, BJÖRN LUNDQUIST & MARIT WESTERGAARD
2018. Cross-linguistic similarities and differences in bilingual acquisition and attrition: Possessives and double definiteness in Norwegian heritage language. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 21:4 ► pp. 748 ff.
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