Volume 10, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1879-9264
  • E-ISSN: 1879-9272
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A production test with 91 bilingual, trilingual and multilingual children (who acquire more than three languages) elicited finite verbs in German. In comparison with monolinguals, the children were accelerated with respect to finite verb placement in main clauses. Following Biberauer & Richards (2006), the EPP feature of T can be satisfied in different ways across languages: If a DP is necessary, which is the case for adult German, it can either be raised from Spec,vP to Spec,TP (in which case the finite verb surfaces in non-clause-final position) or it is pied-piped to Spec,TP. In the latter case, the whole vP is placed in the specifier of TP, giving rise to V-final patterns. The bilingual, trilingual and multilingual children prefer Spec-raising to Spec-pied-piping. We argue that the choice of the means for EPP satisfaction in the German of the multilingual children is influenced by the respective Romance language (French/Spanish).


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): cross-linguistic influence; early trilingualism; German finite verb placement
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