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Bookmark and Share Paper 2553

Are Difficulties with the Prosodic Representation the Origin of Prolonged Article Omission?
Manuela Schönenberger
135-142 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper discusses article acquisition in child L2 German by four successive bilingual children with L1 Turkish, an article-less language, with a focus on article omission. In the final recordings, after 30 months of exposure to German, these children still omitted articles around 20% of the time. When they produced an article it was generally correct. They produced definite articles in contexts requiring a definite article and indefinite articles in contexts requiring an indefinite article. Thus article omission rather than article misuse was the main error in their spontaneous production data in contrast to the children in the experimental study by Zdorenko and Paradis (2008). While monolingual German children (and adults) often produce reduced articles, the successive bilingual children generally produced unreduced articles, which may reflect a problem with the prosodic representation of articles. According to Goad and White (2004, 2007, 2009) and Snape and Kupisch (2010), article omission and the production of stressed rather than unstressed articles are indicative of such a problem in adult L2 English. In German, stressing the indefinite article would result in the numeral one, while there is no difference in meaning between an unreduced and a reduced indefinite article.

Published in

Proceedings of the 11th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2011)
edited by Julia Herschensohn and Darren Tanner
Table of contents
Printed edition: $240.00