9. Dominance, mixing and cross-linguistic influence: On their relation in bilingual development

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In this chapter I explore the relation between language dominance, mixed language utterances and cross-linguistic influence based on data from two German/French bilingual children. The children differ in terms of the extent to which one language can be considered dominant, but both produce fewer mixed utterances in their stronger language. Cross-linguistic influence is examined with respect to determiner acquisition. Monolingual German and French children acquire determiners at different rates, the process being faster in French. The bilinguals use more determiners in German than monolinguals of comparable ages, which is interpreted in favour of positive influence from French. I suggest that these results are inconsistent with mixing patterns, arguing that influence and mixing represent different types of contact phenomena.


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