Spanish-English Bilingual Children’s Relative Use of English Tense and Agreement Morphemes
Keywords:bilingualism, tense and agreement morphology, morphological development, precocious BE, typical bilingual language development, low language skills
Best practice for bilingual speakers involves considering performance in each language the client uses. To support this practice for young clients, a comprehensive understanding of how bilingual children develop skills in each language is needed. To that end, the present work investigates relative use of English tense and agreement (T/A) morphemes—a skill frequently considered as part of a complete language assessment—in Spanish-English developing bilingual preschoolers with varying levels of language ability. Results indicate that developing bilingual children with both typical and weak language skills demonstrate greater use of copula and auxiliary BE relative to third person singular, past tense and auxiliary DO. Findings thus reveal a relative ranking of T/A morphemes in developing bilingual children that differs from that of English monolingual children, who demonstrate relatively later emergence and productivity of auxiliary BE. In turn, findings demonstrate the importance of utilizing appropriate comparisons in clinical practice.
Bates, D., Maechler, M., Bolker, B., & Walker, S. (2015). Fitting linear mixed-effects models using lme4. Journal of Statistical Software, 67(1), 1–48. http://dx.doi.org/10.18637/jss.v067.i01
Bedore, L. M., & Leonard, L. B. (1998). Specific language impairment and grammatical morphology: A discriminant function analysis. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 41(5), 1185–92. https://doi.org/10.1044/jslhr.4105.1185
Bedore, L. M., & Peña, E. D. (2008). Assessment of bilingual children for identification of language impairment: Current findings and implications for practice. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 11(1), 1–29. https://doi.org/10.2167/beb392.0
Brown, R. (1973). A first language: The early stages. Harvard University Press.
Combiths, P. N., Barlow, J. A., Potapova, I., & Pruitt-Lord, S. (2017). Influences of phonological context on tense marking in Spanish–English dual language learners. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60(8), 2199–216. https://dx.doi.org/10.1044%2F2017_JSLHR-L-16-0402
De Houwer, A., (2009). Bilingual first language acquisition. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
De Houwer, A. (2018). Input, context and early child bilingualism: Implications for clinical practice. In A. Bar-on & D. Ravid (Eds.), Handbook of communication disorders: Theoretical, empirical and applied linguistic perspectives (pp. 599–616). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
Fabiano-Smith, L., & Hoffman, K. (2018). Diagnostic accuracy of traditional measures of phonological ability for bilingual preschoolers and kindergarteners. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49(1), 121–34. https://doi.org/10.1044/2017_LSHSS-17-0043
Gillam, R. B., Peña, E. D., Bedore, L. M., Bohman, T. M., & Mendez-Perez, A. (2013). Identification of specific language impairment in bilingual children. I. Assessment in English. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 56(6), 1813–23. https://dx.doi.org/10.1044%2F1092-4388(2013%2F12-0056)
Gladfelter, A., & Leonard, L. B. (2013). Alternative tense and agreement morpheme measures for assessing grammatical deficits during the preschool period. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 56(2), 542–52. https://doi.org/10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0100)
Goffman, L., & Leonard, J. (2000). Growth of language skills in preschool children with specific language impairment: Implications for assessment and intervention. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 9(2), 151–61. https://doi.org/10.1044/1058-0360.0902.151
Guo, L. Y., & Eisenberg, S. (2014). The diagnostic accuracy of two tense measures for identifying 3-year-olds with language impairment. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 23(2), 203–12. https://doi.org/10.1044/2013_ajslp-13-0007
Gutiérrez–Clellen, V. F., & Kreiter, J. (2003). Understanding child bilingual acquisition using parent and teacher reports. Applied Psycholinguistics, 24(2), 267–88. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1017/S0142716403000158
Gutiérrez-Clellen, V. F., Simon-Cereijido, G., & Wagner, C. (2008). Bilingual children with language impairment: A comparison with monolinguals and second language learners. Applied Psycholinguistics, 29(1), 3–19. https://dx.doi.org/10.1017%2FS0142716408080016
Hadley, P. A., & Holt, J. K. (2006). Individual differences in the onset of tense marking: A growth-curve analysis. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 49(5), 984–1000. https://doi.org/10.1044/1092-4388(2006/071)
Hadley, P., Rispoli, M., Fitzgerald, C., & Bahnsen, A. (2011). Predictors of morphosyntactic growth in typically developing toddlers: Contributions of parent input and child sex. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 54(2), 549–66. https://doi.org/10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0216)
Hadley, P. A., Rispoli, M., Holt, J. K., Fitzgerald, C., & Bahnsen, A. (2014). Growth of finiteness in the third year of life: Replication and predictive validity. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 57(3), 887–900. https://doi.org/10.1044/2013_JSLHR-L-13-0008
Hadley, P. A., & Short, H. (2005). The onset of tense marking in children at risk for specific language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 48(6), 1344–62. https://doi.org/10.1044/1092-4388(2005/094)
Hoff, E. (2003). The specificity of environmental influence: Socioeconomic status affects early vocabulary development via maternal speech. Child Development, 74(5), 1368–78. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00612
Hothorn, T., Bretz, F., & Westfall, P. (2008). Simultaneous inference in general parametric models. Biometrical Journal, 50(3), 346–63. https://doi.org/10.1002/bimj.200810425
Huttenlocher, J., Haight, W., Bryk, A., Seltzer, M., & Lyons, T. (1991). Early vocabulary growth: Relation to language input and gender. Developmental Psychology, 27(2), 236. https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1618.104.22.168
Ionin, T., & Wexler, K. (2002). Why is ‘is’ easier than ‘-s’? Acquisition of tense/agreement morphology by child second language learners of English. Second Language Research, 18(2), 95–136. https://doi.org/10.1191%2F0267658302sr195oa
Kan, P. F., & Kohnert, K. (2008). Fast mapping by bilingual preschool children. Journal of Child Language, 35(3), 495–514. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305000907008604
Kehoe, M. (2018). Cross-linguistic interaction in early bilingual phonology: A critical review. In E. Babatsouli & D. Ingram (Eds.), Phonology in protolanguage and interlanguage (pp. 49–75). Sheffield, UK: Equinox Publishing.
Kohnert, K. (2010). Bilingual children with primary language impairment: Issues, evidence and implications for clinical actions. Journal of Communication Disorders, 43(6), 456–73. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.jcomdis.2010.02.002
Leonard, L. B. (2014). Specific language impairment across languages. In D. V. M. Bishop & L. B. Leonard (Eds.), Speech and Language Impairments in Children (pp. 129–44). London/New York: Psychology Press.
Liceras, J. M., Fuertes, R. F., & de la Fuente, A. A. (2012). Overt subjects and copula omission in the Spanish and the English grammar of English–Spanish bilinguals: On the locus and directionality of interlinguistic influence. First Language, 32(1–2), 88–115. https://doi.org/10.1177/0142723711403980
MacWhinney, B. (2005). A unified model of language acquisition. In J. F. Kroll & A. M. B. de Groot (Eds.), Handbook of bilingualism: Psycholinguistic approaches. New York: Oxford University Press.
Miller, J., & Iglesias, A. (2012). SALT: Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts. Software for the analysis of oral language.
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. (2016). Specific Language Impairment. Retrieved 3 August 2016 from https://www.nidcd.nih.gov
Nicoladis, E. (2006). Cross-linguistic transfer in adjective–noun strings by preschool bilingual children. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 9(1), 15–32. https://doi.org/10.1017/S136672890500235X
Oetting, J. B. (2018). Prologue: Toward accurate identification of developmental language disorder within linguistically diverse schools. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49(2), 213–7. https://doi.org/10.1044/2018_LSHSS-CLSLD-17-0156
Paradis, J. (2001). Do bilingual two-year-olds have separate phonological systems? International Journal of Bilingualism, 5(1), 19–38. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F13670069010050010201
Paradis, J. (2005). Grammatical morphology in children learning English as a second
language: Implications of similarities with specific language impairment. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 36(3), 172–87. https://doi.org/10.1044/0161-1461(2005/019)
Paradis, J. (2008). Tense as a clinical marker in English L2 acquisition with language delay/impairment. In B. Haznedar & E. Gavruseva (Eds.), Current trends in child second language acquisition: A generative perspective. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Paradis, J. (2010). The interface between bilingual development and specific language impairment. Applied Psycholinguistics, 31(2), 227–52. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716409990373
Paradis, J. (2016). The development of English as a second language with and without specific language impairment: Clinical implications. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 59(1), 171–82. https://doi.org/10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-15-0008
Paradis, J., & Blom, E. (2016). Do early successive bilinguals show the English L2 pattern of precocious BE acquisition? Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 19(03), 630–5. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728915000267
Paradis, J., Emmerzael, K., & Duncan, T. S. (2010). Assessment of English language learners: Using parent report on first language development. Journal of Communication Disorders, 43(6), 474–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcomdis.2010.01.002
Paradis, J., Rice, M. L., Crago, M., & Marquis, J. (2008). The acquisition of tense in English: Distinguishing child second language from first language and specific language impairment. Applied Psycholinguistics, 29(04), 689–722. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716408080296
Pearson, B. Z., Fernandez, S. C., Lewedeg, V., & Oller, D. K. (1997). The relation of input factors to lexical learning by bilingual infants. Applied Psycholinguistics, 18(1), 41–58. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716400009863
Pham, G., & Kohnert, K. (2014). A longitudinal study of lexical development in children learning Vietnamese and English. Child Development, 85(2), 767–82. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12137
Potapova, I., Kelly, S., Combiths, P. N., & Pruitt-Lord, S. L. (2018). Evaluating English morpheme accuracy, diversity, and productivity measures in language samples of developing bilinguals. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49(2), 260–76. https://doi.org/10.1044/2017_LSHSS-17-0026
Potapova, I., & Pruitt-Lord, S. L. (2019). Towards understanding the bilingual profile in typical and atypical language development: A tutorial. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1080/17549507.2019.1598492
R Core Team (2013). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. http://www.R-project.org
Restrepo, M. A. (1998). Identifiers of predominantly Spanish-speaking children with language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 41(6), 1398–411. https://doi.org/10.1044/jslhr.4106.1398
Rice, M. L. (2010). Evaluating maturational parallels in second language children and children with specific language impairment. Applied Psycholinguistics, 31(02), 320–7. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716408080016
Rice, M. L., & Wexler, K. (1996). Toward tense as a clinical marker of specific language impairment in English-speaking children. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 39(6), 1239–57. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1044/jshr.3906.1239
Rice, M. L., Wexler, K., & Cleave, P. L. (1995). Specific language impairment as a period of extended optional infinitive. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 38(4), 850–63. https://doi.org/10.1044/jshr.3804.850
Rice, M. L., Wexler, K., & Hershberger, S. (1998). Tense over time: The longitudinal course of tense acquisition in children with specific language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 41(6), 1412–31. https://doi.org/10.1044/jslhr.4106.1412
Rispoli, M., & Hadley, P. (2011). Toward a theory of gradual morphosyntactic learning. In I. Aron & E. V. Clark (Eds.), Experience, variation, and generalization: Learning a first language (pp. 15–34). Amsterdam, the Netherlands: John Benjamins.
Rispoli, M., Hadley, P. A., & Holt, J. K. (2009). The growth of tense productivity. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 52(4), 930–44. https://doi.org/10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0079)
Rispoli, M., Hadley, P. A., & Holt, J. K. (2012). Sequence and system in the acquisition of tense and agreement. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 55(4), 1007–21. https://doi.org/10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0272)
Roid, G. H., & Miller, L. (1997). Leiter International Performance Scale-Revised (Leiter-R) manual. Wood Dale, IL: Stoelting.
Rojas, R., & Iglesias, A. (2009). Making a case for language sampling: Assessment and intervention with (Spanish-English) second language learners. The ASHA Leader, 14(3), 10–13. https://doi.org/10.1044/leader.FTR1.14032009.10
Rojas, R., & Iglesias, A. (2013). The language growth of Spanish-speaking English language learners. Child Development, 84(2), 630–46. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01871.x
Stockman, I. J. (1996). The promises and pitfalls of language sample analysis as an assessment tool for linguistic minority children. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 27(4), 355–66. https://doi.org/10.1044/0161-1461.2704.355
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.