How (not) to cross a boundary: crosslinguistic influence in simultaneous bilingual children's event construal


Engemann, Helen


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728921000298
URL: https://madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/59445
Additional URL: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/bilinguali...
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-594450
Document Type: Article
Year of publication Online: 2021
The title of a journal, publication series: Bilingualism : Language and Cognition
Volume: 24
Page range: tba
Place of publication: Cambridge
Publishing house: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 1366-7289 , 1469-1841
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Humanities > Anglistik I - Mehrsprachigkeitsforschung (Juniorprofessur) (Engemann 2017-)
Pre-existing license: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Subject: 400 Language, linguistics
Keywords (English): bilingual first language acquisition , crosslinguistic influence , motion events , coactivation , bilingual speech production processes
Abstract: Simultaneous bilingual children sometimes display crosslinguistic influence (CLI), widely attested in the domain of morphosyntax. It remains unclear whether CLI affects bilinguals’ event construal, what motivates its occurrence and directionality, and how developmentally persistent it is. The present study tested predictions generated by the structural overlap hypothesis and the co-activation account in the motion event domain. 96 English-French bilingual children of two age groups and 96 age-matched monolingual English and French controls were asked to describe animated videos displaying voluntary motion events. Semantic encoding in main verbs showed quantitative bidirectional CLI. Unidirectional CLI affected French path encoding in the verbal periphery and was predicted by the presence of boundary-crossing, despite the absence of structural overlap. Furthermore, CLI increased developmentally in the French data. It is argued that these findings reflect highly dynamic co-activation patterns sensitive to the requirements of the task and to language-specific challenges in the online production process.
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