The acquisition of Spanish in a bilingual and a trilingual L1 setting

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This study focuses on the early acquisition of Spanish predicative adjectives accompanied with copula selection and the position of attributive adjectives in longitudinal data from simultaneous Spanish-German and Spanish-French bilinguals and from Spanish-Catalan-German trilingual children. As for copula selection, our results show cross-linguistic influence in the Spanish-German/French bilinguals, resulting in a delay of the acquisition of Spanish. As to adjective order, influence cannot be conclusively studied. For both linguistic properties, bilingual children overgeneralize the less complex analysis, mainly if it competes with the more complex analysis in one language. A subtle positive effect in the Spanish of the trilinguals for both grammatical domains investigated suggests the high impact of syntactic properties and the less significance of the number of languages. Keywords: bilingual first language acquisition; early trilingualism; syntactic complexity; Spanish attributive and predicative adjectives; copula verbs


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