Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1879-7865
  • E-ISSN: 1879-7873
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The present study focuses on the acquisition of subject–verb agreement in number in spoken French. We compare production and comprehension of singular and plural verb forms in French monolingual and French-Swedish bilingual children (n = 58) aged five to ten. Overall, the results demonstrate that subject–verb agreement in number is a challenge to all French-speaking children, be it monolingual or bilingual, due to its heterogeneous, partial and lexically restricted nature. Furthermore, in production, bilingual children omit plural verb forms significantly more often than monolinguals. However, in comprehension, they pattern with their monolingual peers. The data also illustrate an asymmetric pattern: Plural verb forms are more easily comprehended than produced whereas singular verb forms are more easily produced than comprehended. The reasons for this asymmetry are discussed from a usage-based perspective, focusing on the frequency of verb forms and agreement patterns in the French input.


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