Publication details [#63451]

Sanders, Ted, Elena Tribushinina, Willem M. Mak, Elizaveta Andreiushina and Elena Dubinkina. 2017. Connective use in the narratives of bilingual children and monolingual children with SLI. Bilingualism 20 (1) : 98–113.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Cambridge University Press


Differences between monolinguals and bilinguals are often ascribed to crosslinguistic impact. This article compares production of discourse connectives by Dutch–Russian bilinguals (Dutch-dominant), typically-developing Dutch/Russian monolinguals and Russian-speaking children with SLI. If non-target-like production in bilinguals is due to crosslinguistic impact, bilinguals should perform differently from both impaired and unimpaired monolinguals. However, if differences between bilinguals and monolinguals are due to other factors (e.g., input quantity, processing capacities), bilinguals’ language production might be similar to that of children with SLI. The results show that language dominance defines the direction of crosslinguistic impact. In terms of frequency distributions of Russian connectives across pragmatic contexts, the bilingual group performed differently from both monolingual groups and the differences were compatible with the structural properties of Dutch. However, based on error rates and types bilinguals could not be differentiated from the SLI group, proposing that factors other than crosslinguistic impact may also be at play.