Faculty Publications

Title

Crosslinguistic influence in bilingual acquisition: Subject omission in learners of Inuktitut and English

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Child Language

Volume

32

Issue

4

First Page

893

Last Page

909

Abstract

This study investigates subject omission in six English-Inuktitut simultaneous bilingual children, aged 1;8-3;9, to examine whether there are cross-language influences in their language development. Previous research with other language pairs has shown that the morphosyntax of one language can influence the development of morphosyntax in the other language. Most of this research has focused on Romance-Germanic language combinations using case studies. In this study, we examined a language pair (English-Inuktitut) with radically different morphosyntactic structures. Analysis of the English-only and Inuktitut-only utterances of the children revealed monolingual-like acquisition patterns and subject omission rates. The data indicate that these bilingual children possessed knowledge of the target languages that was language-specific and that previously identified triggers for crosslinguistic influence do not operate universally. © 2005 Cambridge University Press.

Original Publication Date

11-1-2005

DOI of published version

10.1017/S0305000905007129

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