Publication details [#59441]

Cornips, Leonie. 2014. Socio-syntax and variation in acquisition: Problematizing monolingual and bidialectal acquisition. Linguistic Variation 14 (1) : 1–25.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This paper has two aims: first, to emphasize how the linguistic input to which children are exposed is inherently variable and complex. To this end, it will discuss two particular phenomena in Dutch, namely Aux+Inf and gender marking in DP’s. These phenomena lend themselves to a comparison in terms of the nature of the individual, social and regional variation in the input. Second, regarding the question of whether bidialectal acquisition is the same as bilingual acquisition, it seems that there are, in fact, significant differences between the two. Bidialectal children score significantly higher on vocabulary tests than bilingual speakers, they use the Aux+Inf structure in a different way and they also acquire the neuter gender of the Dutch definite determiner significantly faster than bilingual children. Importantly, this paper also explores whether one can maintain a distinction between monolingual and bidialectal children in so-called bidialectal areas.