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Age and Input in Early Child Bilingualism: The Acquisition of Grammatical Gender in Dutch
Sharon Unsworth
448-458 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper investigates ultimate attainment and development in the child L2 acquisition of grammatical gender in Dutch. Dutch makes a distinction between non-neuter and neuter gender, and this is marked on definite determiners: non-neuter nouns are preceded by the non-neuter determiner de and neuter nouns by the neuter determiner het. It has been observed that monolingual L1 Dutch children overgeneralize de with neuter nouns until at least age six (Van der Velde 2003, 2004) and bilingual children have been claimed to fossilise in this stage of overgeneralization (Hulk and Cornips 2006). Investigating factors such as age of first exposure, length/intensity of exposure, and proficiency, this paper determines whether such fossilization is also found in a new bilingual (2L1/L2) child population, namely English-speakers acquiring Dutch as L2 or other language.

Published in

Proceedings of the 2nd Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA)
edited by Alyona Belikova, Luisa Meroni, and Mari Umeda
Table of contents
Printed edition: $320.00