Volume 9, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1879-9264
  • E-ISSN: 1879-9272
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We present elicited production data reflecting cross-linguistic interference effects in the English wh-questions of Spanish-English bilingual children to provide a proof-of-concept for a proposed new formal analysis of such effects across cross-linguistic influence phenomena. The observed interference effects are interpreted as evidence for the Strong Integration hypothesis of bilingual grammatical architecture, in the context of independently documented facilitation and interference effects in a range of bilingual acquisition contexts. Building on an existing Optimality-Theoretic (OT) model of monolingual acquisition and a specific account of the adult grammar of wh-structures across dialects of Spanish, we propose that the individual patterns documented, in particular the sensitivity in child English to distinctions made in Spanish dialects on the basis of an argument/adjunct contrast, find a straightforward explanation in the OT model of acquisition as adapted to bilingual situations. The generalizability of the model as well as effects of exposure and dominance are discussed.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): cross-linguistic influence; Spanish-English bilingualism; Strong Integration
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