Volume 7, Issue 5
  • ISSN 1879-9264
  • E-ISSN: 1879-9272
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The focus of the paper is a phenomenon well documented in both monolingual and bilingual English acquisition: argument omission. Previous studies have shown that bilinguals acquiring a null and a non-null argument language simultaneously tend to exhibit unidirectional cross-language interaction effects — the null argument language remains unaffected but over-suppliance of overt elements in the null argument language is observed. Here subject and object omission in both ASL (null argument) and English (non-null argument) of young ASL-English bilinguals is examined. Results demonstrate that in spontaneous English production, ASL-English bilinguals omit subjects and objects to a higher rate, for longer, and in unexpected environments when compared with English monolinguals and bilinguals; no effect on ASL is observed. Findings also show that the children differentiate between their two languages — rates of argument omission in English are different during ASL vs. English target sessions differ. Implications for the general theory of bilingual effects are offered.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): argument omission; bimodal bilingualism; cross-linguistic influence
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