Child second language acquisition or successive first language acquisition?

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This paper explores the question of whether child L2 acquisition is more like L1 or adult L2. An analysis of the acquisition of finiteness by German child L2 learners of French leads to the conclusion that successive acquisition of languages exhibits similarities to adult L2 in some aspects of inflectional morphology. This claim is based on the observation that specific features of grammatical development typically occur in one type of acquisition only, not in the other. Unlike mature French and child L1, French subject clitics appear adjacent to non-finite verbs in adult and child L2 French. One can argue that they do not possess the same grammatical status in child and adult L2 grammars as they do in L1 grammars.


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