Article published in:Multilingual Individuals and Multilingual Societies
Edited by Kurt Braunmüller and Christoph Gabriel
[Hamburg Studies on Multilingualism 13] 2012
► pp. 47–62
Wh-questions in Dutch
Bilingual and trilingual acquisition compared
This study investigates cross-linguistic influence in Dutch wh-questions in bilingual Dutch-French and trilingual Dutch-French-Italian acquisition. Five and seven year-old bilingual and trilingual children as well as monolingual children and adult controls (N = 49) participated in an elicited production task. In addition to target-like wh-fronted questions with subject-verb inversion, the majority of responses, the multilingual children produced two qualitatively different structures: wh-in-situ questions and wh-fronted questions without inversion. These structures are argued to result from transfer from French, and in the case of non-inversion with the wh-word why in the trilingual group from transfer from Italian. It is proposed that a theory of transfer based on derivational complexity can best account for these data.
Published online: 22 August 2012
Cited by other publications
Aronin, Larissa & Ulrike Jessner
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