Null Subjects in Monolingual and Bilingual, Typical and Atypical Development

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We present an exploratory test on the production of null subjects by 13monolinguals acquiring Capeverdean, 6 bilingual speakers of Capeverdeanand European Portuguese with typical language development and 7 bilingualspeakers with SLI features. Capeverdean does not allow null referential subjectsin matrix clauses. European Portuguese, on the other hand, is a prototypicalpro-drop language. The results from an elicited production task revealedthat the production of null subjects does not appear to constitute a distinctivefeature for bilingual children with language impairment. As for the contrastbetween the early abandon of subject drop by Capeverdean monolinguals andthe maintenance of null subjects among the bilinguals in both languages, thelatter confirms that this is an area of interference.


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