Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-wg55d Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-23T19:51:41.086Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Cross-linguistic transfer in deverbal compounds of preschool bilingual children

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 May 2003

ELENA NICOLADIS
Affiliation:
University of Alberta

Abstract

Cross-linguistic transfer can be explained by structural ambiguity in a bilingual child's two languages (Döpke, 1998; Hulk and Müller, 2000). This study examined the effect of morphological ambiguity in transfer of deverbal compounds in English and French. English-speaking children go through a stage of producing ungrammatical verb-object compounds in their acquisition of object-verb-er compounds. In French, verb-object compounds are productive. If structural ambiguity predicts when transfer occurs, French-English bilingual children should use more ungrammatical verb-object compounds than English-speaking children and more grammatical verb-object compounds than French-speaking children. This study focused on 36 French-English bilingual children's production and comprehension of novel deverbal compounds in both languages. The results supported these predictions for production but not for comprehension. It is concluded that cross-linguistic transfer is a language production phenomenon and that structural ambiguity can predict when morphological transfer can occur.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2003 Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)