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ERIC Number: EJ856271
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1366-7289
Multi-Word Combinations and the Emergence of Differentiated Ordering Patterns in Early Trilingual Development
Montanari, Simona
Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, v12 n4 p503-519 Oct 2009
This study examines word order differentiation in early trilingual development through an analysis of the combinations produced by a Tagalog-Spanish-English trilingual child with an MLU of less than 1.5. Same- and mixed-language combinations were tracked down from diary data and weekly recordings to assess (i) whether word order significantly varied cross-linguistically, and (ii) whether mixed utterances originated from vocabulary gaps rather than from an undifferentiated syntax. The results indicate that (a) argument/predicate sequences were differentially ordered depending on their language and following input-dependent preferences, (b) mixed utterances were generally caused by vocabulary gaps, and (c) they displayed the same order as those single-language combinations produced in the same language context. These findings suggest that evidence for early word order differentiation can be found before the appearance of inflectional morphology and even when three--rather than two--languages are being acquired, indicating that trilingual exposure does not slow down the process of differentiation.
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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