German-English-speaking children's mixed NPs with 'correct' agreement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Authors:
  • LIANE JORSCHICK
  • ANTJE ENDESFELDER QUICK
  • DANA GLÄSSER
  • ELENA LIEVEN
  • MICHAEL TOMASELLO

Abstract

Previous research has reported that bilingual children sometimes produce mixed noun phrases with 'correct' gender agreement - as in der dog (der being a masculine determiner in German and the German word for "dog", hund, being masculine as well). However, these could obviously be due to chance or to the indiscriminate use of a default determiner. In the current study, we established with high statistical reliability that each of three German-English bilingual children, of 2-4 years of age, produced such mixed NPs with 'correct' agreement at significantly greater than chance levels. Also noteworthy was the fact that all three children produced such NPs with German determiners and English nouns much more frequently than the reverse. These findings provide a solid statistical foundation for further studies into the phenomenon of mixed noun phrases with 'correct' gender agreement.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages10
JournalBilingualism
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2010