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ERIC Number: EJ1112292
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Aug
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
The Development of Morphological Awareness in Young Bilinguals: Effects of Age and L1 Background
Lam, Boji Pak-Wing; Sheng, Li
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v59 n4 p732-744 Aug 2016
Purpose: Current understanding about the effect of first language (L1) background on morphological awareness (MA) development in those who are bilingual is largely limited to school-aged second-language learners. This study examined the development of MA in bilingual Mandarin-English (ManEngBi) and Spanish-English (SpaEngBi) children ages 4 to 7 years, whose L1 is predominated by compounding and derivation, respectively. Method: We targeted specific word formation rules that develop within different developmental time frames. Forty-two ManEngBi, 30 SpaEngBi, and 27 English monolingual children divided into 4- to 5-year-old and 6- to 7-year-old age groups produced English words using compounding, the derivational agentive "-er" suffix, and the derivational characteristic "-y" suffix for both real and novel word roots. Results: The characteristic "-y" suffix consistently elicited the poorest performance. This finding held true regardless of language group, age, or novelty of prompts. Both older SpaEngBi and English monolingual children outperformed older ManEngBi children in the characteristic "-y" suffix, whereas the three groups performed comparably on the other two rules at both age intervals. Error analysis further suggested influence of cross-linguistic features. Conclusions: L1 influence on English MA development is sensitive to the developmental time frame of word formation rules. Future studies on the development of MA in bilingual children should adopt a more fine-grained approach and include a wider age range.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A