1887
image of Vocabulary development in closely-related languages
  • ISSN 1879-9264
  • E-ISSN 1879-9272
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Abstract

Abstract

This paper investigates vocabulary comprehension and production in 46 bilingual Swedish-German children age 4–6 growing up in Sweden. Using a newly developed tool, the Cross-linguistic Lexical Task (CLT, ), the children’s receptive and expressive vocabulary knowledge of nouns and verbs is assessed in both their languages, compared to each other and over age. Performance on test items of different word types (nouns/verbs; cognates/non-cognates) is also explored. There are clear vocabulary gains with age for the majority language Swedish, but not for the minority (home) language German. Overall vocabulary scores are higher in Swedish than in German, but this difference only concerns verbs, not nouns. Cognate facilitation occurs both ways in these closely-related languages, but is stronger in the minority language German. We suggest that what at first sight looks like a noun advantage on the German CLT is largely an effect of Swedish/German cognate status.

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/content/journals/10.1075/lab.18041.lin
2019-01-25
2019-10-16
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