EUROSLA Yearbook: Volume 5 (2005)
  • ISSN 1568-1491
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9749
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Young children often express possession before they have mastered the linguistic means to express this notion in adult forms. In this paper we present evidence on the acquisition of possessive constructions in bilingual children acquiring a Germanic and a Romance language (i.e. Dutch/French and Dutch/Italian). In a multiple case study, we compare their acquisition with that of monolingual children and suggest that while the stages of acquisition in monolingual and bilingual children are largely the same, the possessive constructions of the bilingual children show signs of cross-linguistic influence. This influence goes mainly from Dutch (the dominant language) to the Romance language, but there are also signs of influence from the Romance language on Dutch. This is in contradiction to earlier claims (Hulk and Mueller 2000, 2001, for example), where influence is predicted to be unidirectional.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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