Bilingual children's acquisition of the past tense: a usage-based approach

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TitleBilingual children's acquisition of the past tense: a usage-based approach
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractBilingual and monolingual children's (mean age = 4;10) elicited production of the past tense in both English and French was examined in order to test predictions from Usage-Based theory regarding the sensitivity of children's acquisition rates to input factors such as variation in exposure time and the type/token frequency of morphosyntactic structures. Both bilingual and monolingual children were less accurate with irregular than regular past tense forms in both languages. Bilingual children, as a group, were less accurate than monolinguals with the English regular and irregular past tense, and with the French irregular past tense, but not with the French regular past tense. However, bilingual children were as accurate as monolinguals with the past tense in their language of greater exposure, except for English irregular verbs. It is argued that these results support the view that children's acquisition rates are sensitive to input factors, but with some qualifications. Adapted from the source document.
AuthorsParadis, J., Nicoladis E., Crago M., and Genesee F.
Year of Publication2011
PublicationJournal of Child Language
ISSN0305-0009 (print), 1469-7602 (electronic)
Publisher DOI
NotesCambridge University Press, responsible for the promotion of Journal of Child Language, have allowed *full text access* to a collection of papers, which can only be accessed through this web link: until 30th June 2013.
Reseach NotesThis research was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, standard research grant #410-2006-0104 to Johanne Paradis, and official languages grant #858-2004-0012 to Martha Crago).
Keywords (MeSH)child, language development, multilingualism, psycholinguistics, semantics, speech perception, verbal learning