Subject clitics in child L2 acquisition of French

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This paper presents findings from a study on successive language acquisition by German children first exposed to French at the age of 3–4 years. The general research question is whether child second language acquisition (cL2) parallels monolingual or bilingual first language acquisition (2L1) or rather adult L2 acquisition (aL2). The specific grammatical domain investigated is subject clitics (SCL). Since L1 and aL2 differ with respect to the distribution and the nature of SCL, their usage qualifies as a criterion discriminating between the two acquisition types. My findings suggest that cL2 learners with a higher age of onset behave like aL2 learners in this domain, supporting the claim that cL2 acquisition differs qualitatively from 2L1 development in the domain of bound morphology.


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