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Comprehension of reflexives and pronouns in sequential bilingual children: do they pattern similarly to L1 children, L2 adults, or children with specific language impairment?

By Theodoros Marinis and Vasiliki Chondrogianni

Abstract

This paper investigates how sequential bilingual (L2) Turkish-English children comprehend English reflexives and pronouns and tests whether they pattern similarly to monolingual (L1) children, L2 adults, or children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). \ud Thirty nine 6- to 9-year-old L2 children with an age of onset of 30-48 months and exposure to English of 30-72 months and 33 L1 age-matched control children completed the Advanced Syntactic Test of Pronominal Reference-Revised (van der Lely, 1997). The L2 children’s performance was compared to L2 adults from Demirci (2001) and children with SLI from van der Lely & Stollwerck (1997). \ud The L2 children’s performance in the comprehension of reflexives was almost identical to their age-matched controls, and differed from L2 adults and children with SLI. In the comprehension of pronouns, L2 children showed an asymmetry between referential and quantificational NPs, a pattern attested in younger L1 children and children with SLI. Our study provides evidence that the development of comprehension of reflexives and pronouns in these children resembles monolingual L1 acquisition and not adult L2 acquisition or acquisition of children with SLI

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:centaur.reading.ac.uk:17254

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