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  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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In this paper, we argue that variation in child bilingualism has received too little attention. The literature on monolingual acquisition shows that children vary in the routes they follow towards linguistic proficiency: children have preferences for the acquisition of certain word classes (Nelson 1973, Bates 1994) and they do not all follow the same route in developing more word utterances (Clark, 1993). This variation is hardly taken into account in the study of bilingual acquisition. The fact that children vary in the amount of language mixing in their utterances may be due to the input they are exposed to, but may just as well be a sign of individual preferences and choices. In the case of the French/Dutch bilingual child we study, the first stage of her utterances seems to show that the amount of language specific utterances is variable but decreases with time. We suggest that the child is late in developing the pragmatic competence necessary to develop two differentiated language systems.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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