Dutch gender in specific language impairment and second language acquisition

Orgassa, Antje; Weerman, Fred
July 2008
Second Language Research;Jul2008, Vol. 24 Issue 3, p333
Academic Journal
In this article we compare five groups of learners acquiring Dutch gender as marked on determiners and adjectival inflection. Groups of L1 (first language) children and L1-SLI (first-language specific-language- impairment) children are compared to three Turkish- Dutch L2 (second language) groups: adult L2, child L2 and child L2-SLI Overall, our findings show that gender is vulnerable in both SL1 and L2 groups. More particularly, they suggest that all child groups basically make the same type of errors and that they all differ from the adult group. It is suggested that any differences between the child learners can best be understood in terms of factors that influence intake (in both SLI and L2) rather than in terms of access to grammatical principles: SLI children have a (major) processing deficit and L2 children have received less input to Dutch, both factors causing poorer intake. That problems with the intake are crucial is further supported by the clear cumulative effect of bilingualism and SLI: the L2-SLI group not only differs from the child L2 controls but also from the Dutch L1-SLI group.

Tags: ADJECTIVES (Grammar);  CHILDREN -- Language;  GENDER;  SECOND language acquisition;  COGNITIVE learning;  BILINGUALISM;  DUTCH;  SOCIAL factors;  LANGUAGE transfer (Language learning)


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