How Do Turkish-Dutch Bilingual Children Interpret Pronouns and Reflexives in Dutch?
Margreet van Koert, Aafke Hulk, Olaf Koeneman, and Fred Weerman
85-99 (complete paper
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This study compared the comprehension of Dutch reflexives (zichzelf 'SE-self') and pronouns (hem 'him') by Turkish-Dutch bilingual children (n=33) to the comprehension of English reflexives (himself) and pronouns (him) by Turkish-English bilingual children (n=39) documented by Marinis and Chondrogianni (2011). The children were administered a Picture Verification Task in which they had to judge whether the sentence matched the picture. Test sentences were of the type [NP says [NP V NP]], where the embedded subject could be a referential NP (the rabbit) or a QP (every rabbit), and the embedded object a pronoun or a reflexive. Differences were found in the QP antecedent conditions: the Turkish-Dutch bilingual children performed target-like on the reflexives but not on the pronouns; the Turkish-English bilingual children performed at chance on the reflexives but scored target-like on the pronouns. When these findings were compared to the Dutch monolingual and English monolingual children's results respectively, it was found that the bilingual children showed similar patterns to the monolingual children. Although language-specific properties of Dutch and English are likely to be at play, the possibility of cross-linguistic influence from Turkish is considered, too.
Proceedings of the 12th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2013)
edited by Jennifer Cabrelli Amaro, Tiffany Judy, and Diego Pascual y Cabo
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