This study tests the acquisition of French in Spanish-speaking children by documenting the acquisition of noun phrases in sequential bilingual (Spanish-French) children, compared to native French speakers, matched according to age or language development level. Ten Spanishspeaking children aged 4 to 6 years who were exposed to French for one year on average produced French noun phrases with adjectives and determiners in French (ex. la petite maison verte; the little house green). Results show that bilingual children have more difficulty than French children when producing these French noun phrases. Further analyses on adjective production revealed grammatical gender, adjective variability and participant group effects on results. Variable feminine adjectives are much more difficult for bilingual children to master than for monolingual speakers. Furthermore, an analysis of errors revealed qualitative differences in syntactic errors in the three groups. These findings help us identify typical acquisition difficulties for noun phrases in second language learners and are discussed within a clinical perspective.
|Translated title of the contribution||The acquisition of gender once it has already been mastered: The experience of Spanish-speaking children learning French|
|Number of pages||22|
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology|
|Publication status||Published - Sept 1 2015|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Linguistics and Language
- Speech and Hearing