NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1017893
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jan
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1366-7289
French-Dutch Bilinguals Do Not Maintain Obligatory Semantic Distinctions: Evidence from Placement Verbs
Alferink, Inge; Gullberg, Marianne
Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, v17 n1 p22-37 Jan 2014
It is often said that bilinguals are not the sum of two monolinguals but that bilingual systems represent a third pattern. This study explores the exact nature of this pattern. We ask whether there is evidence of a merged system when one language makes an obligatory distinction that the other one does not, namely in the case of placement verbs in French and Dutch, and whether such a merged system is realised as a more general or a more specific system. The results show that in elicited descriptions Belgian French--Dutch bilinguals do not maintain two distinct categories in one of the languages, resulting in a more general semantic system in comparison with the non-contact variety. They do not uphold the obligatory distinction in the verb nor elsewhere despite its communicative relevance. This raises important questions regarding how widespread these differences are and what drives these patterns.
Cambridge University Press. The Edinburgh Building, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge, CB2 8RU, UK. Tel: 800-872-7423; Tel: 845-353-7500; Tel: +44-1223-326070; Fax: 845-353-4141; Fax: +44-1223-325150; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A