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The acquisition and development of language by bilingual children*

  • Virginia Volterra (a1) and Traute Taeschner (a1)
Abstract
ABSTRACT

Analysing the gradual learning process through which a child becomes bilingual from early infancy, three stages can be distinguished: (1) the child has one lexical system which includes words from both languages; (2) the child distinguishes two different lexicons but applies the same syntactic rules to both languages; (3) the child has two linguistic codes, differentiated both in lexicon and in syntax, but each language is exclusively associated with the person using that language. Only at the end of this stage, when the tendency to categorize people in terms of their language decreases, can one say that a child is truly bilingual.

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[*]

Authors' address Istituto di Psicologia, Via dei Monti Tiburtini 509, Rome.

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References
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D'Addio W. (1974). La posizione dell aggettivo italiano nel gruppo nominale. In Medici M. & Sangregorio A. (eds), Fenomeni morfologici e sintattici nell'italiano contemporaneo. Rome: Buizoni.
Ferguson C. A. & Slobin D. (1973). Early language acquisition: a model and some data. In Ferguson C. A. & Slobin D. I. (eds), Studies in child language development. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
Leopold W. (1970). Speech development of a bilingual child, Vols. I–IV. New York: AMS Press.
Ronjat J. (1913). Le développement du langage observé chez un enfant bilingue. Paris.
Schwarze C. (1974). Problemi empirici di grammatica comparativa. Studi italiani di linguistica teorica e applicata 3. 219–37.
Slobin D. I. (1975). Language change in childhood and in history. University of California, Berkeley, Working Paper 41.
Taeschner T. (1976 a). Studio sull'acquisizione e lo sviluppo del linguaggio di due bambine bilingui. Rassegna Italiana di Linguistica Applicata 8, No. 2–3, 83–105.
Taeschner T. (1976 b). Come definire la lingua dominante in un soggetto bilingue dalla nascita? Rassegna Italiana di Linguistica Applicata 8, No. 2–3, 105–39.
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Journal of Child Language
  • ISSN: 0305-0009
  • EISSN: 1469-7602
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-child-language
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