Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1879-9264
  • E-ISSN: 1879-9272
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This study examined the phenomena of incomplete acquisition, attrition, and protracted acquisition of the L1 in HL children by focusing on the comprehension and production of subject and object relative clauses (RCs) in Mandarin HL children. A cross-sectional design (study 1) and a longitudinal design (study 2) were both included. Our results showed that HL children were comparable to monolinguals for the comprehension of RCs in both study 1 and 2. For the production of RCs, although monolinguals outperformed HL children in study 1, HL children’s production of RCs was convergent with monolingual-like levels over time (study 2). We conclude that the reduced L1 input HL children receive in the host country does not necessarily lead to deficient acquisition of the L1. Perhaps for some complex structures in the L1 (e.g., RCs), HL children may need more time than monolingual children to accumulate the critical mass of input needed to acquire them.


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