Article published in:Meertaligheid zonder meer
[Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen 74] 2005
► pp. 147–156
Bezitsconstructies Bij Ééntalige En Tweetalige Kinderen
Possessive constructions in French, Italian and Dutch are similar. Acquisition of these constructions therefore largely follows the same course. The differences between the languages lead to some cross-linguistic phenomena in bilingual first language acquisition. To a large extent, the stages in the acquisition can be explained by the Structure Building Hypothesis. This theory claims that the acquisition of a construction follows the structural expansion of the child's grammar. However, the data shows much variability in the children's' utterances, which does not seem to fit this framework. Part of the variability may be explained by hypothesizing an intermediate stage in which the children experiment with the morphological elaboration of the DP. However, the co-occurrence of utterances from clearly different stages in the acquisition for a long period cannot be explained in this way. A possible solution would be to assume that this type of variation is the outcome of co-existing parallel grammars, which continue to be activated until the child chooses definitely for the standard adult system. Further research is needed to find firm corroboration of this hypothesis.
Published online: 24 March 2014