“I have three years old”
Cross-linguistic Influence of Fixed Expressions in a Bilingual Child
There is evidence that adults store fixed expressions as both units and compositionally in their mental lexicon. According to Usage-Based theories, children initially acquire memorized chunks of language (fixed expressions) and gradually abstract productive patterns (compositional representation). This study addresses whether a French-English bilingual child has compositional representation of fixed expressions using diary data on her use of fixed expressions requiring the verb to be in English and avoir ‘to have’ in French between the ages of 3;4 and 4;3. According to Usage-Based theories, children should learn these fixed expressions as fixed expressions and therefore show little cross-linguistic influence. However, from the earliest age under study, this child occasionally used the non-target verb, suggesting that her representation of these fixed expressions was already also compositional.
Ackerman, B. P. (1982). On comprehending idioms: Do children get the picture? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 33, 439–54. https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-0965(82)90058-3
Akhtar, N., & Tomasello, M. (1997). Young children’s productivity with word order and verb morphology. Developmental Psychology, 33, 952–65. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0012-16184.108.40.2062
Ambridge, B., Pine, J. M., Rowland, C. F., & Young, C. R. (2008). The effect of verb semantic class and verb frequency (entrenchment) on children’s and adults’ graded judgements of argument-structure overgeneralization errors. Cognition, 106, 87–129. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2006.12.015
Bernardini, P., & Schlyter, S. (2004). Growing syntactic structure and code-mixing in the weaker language: The Ivy Hypothesis. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 7, 49–69. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728904001270
Brinton, L. J., & Akimoto, M. (1999). Collocational and idiomatic aspects of composite pred-icates in the history of English. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Brooks, P., Tomasello, M., Lewis, L., & Dodson, K. (2). Children’s overgeneralization of fixed transitivity verbs: The entrenchment hypothesis. Child Development, 70, 1325–37. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00097
Bybee, J. (2001). Phonology and language use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bybee, J., & Scheibman, J. (1999). The effect of usage on degrees of constituency: The reduc-tion of don’t in English. Linguistics, 37, 575–96. https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.37.4.575
Cacciari, C., & Glucksberg, S. (1991). Understanding idiomatic expressions: The contribu¬tion of word meanings. In G. B. Simpson (Ed.), Understanding word and sentence (pp. 217–40). Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0166-4115(08)61535-6
Caillies, S., & Le Sourn-Bissaoui, S. (2006). Idiom comprehension in French children: A cock-and-bull story. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 3, 189–206. https://doi.org/10.1080/17405620500412325
Chorbwhan, R., & McLellan, J. (2016). First language transfer and the acquisition of Eng¬lish collocations by Thai learners. Southeast Asia: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 16, 16–27. http://fass.ubd.edu.bn/SEA/vol16/SEA-v16-chorbwhan.pdf
Conklin, K., & Schmitt, N. (2008). Formulaic sequences: Are they processed more quickly than nonformulaic language by native and nonnative speakers? Applied Linguistics, 29, 72–89. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amm022
Di Sciullo, A. M., & Williams, E. (1987). On the definition of word. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Döpke, S. (1998). Competing language structures: The acquisition of verb placement by bilingual German–English children. Journal of Child Language, 25, 555–84. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305000998003584
Duffley, P. J. (2012). How creativity strains conventionality in the use of idiomatic expres-sions. Paper presented at the 11th Conceptual Structure, Discourse, and Language Con-ference. Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Goldberg, A. E. (2006). Constructions at work: The nature of generalization in language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hovav, M. R. (2015). A constructional idiom in Modern Hebrew: The influence of English on a native Hebrew collocation. Journal of Jewish Languages, 3, 325–36. https://doi.org/10.1163/22134638-12340050
Hulk, A., & Müller, N. (2000). Bilingual first language acquisition at the interface between syntax and pragmatics. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 3, 227–44. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728900000353
Kotsoni, P. A., & Ypsilandis, G. S. (2018). L2 vocabulary retention in typically developing children and children with learning disabilities: Comparing individual words and multi-word items. In Pixel (Ed.), Conference Proceedings. The Future of Education (pp. 156–60). Padova, Italy: Libraria Universitaria.
Langlotz, A. (2006). Idiomatic creativity. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Myers-Scotton, C. (1995). A lexically based model of code-switching. In L. Milroy & P. Muysken (Eds.), One speaker, two languages (pp. 233–56). Cambridge: Cambridge Uni-versity Press.
Nelson, K. E., & Nelson, K. (1978). Cognitive pendulums and their linguistic realization. In K. Nelson, Language development (pp. 223–86). New York: Wiley.
Nicoladis, E. (2006). Cross-linguistic transfer in adjective–noun strings by preschool bilin¬gual children. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 9, 15–32. https://doi.org/10.1017/S136672890500235X
Nicoladis, E. (2008). Why does bilingualism affect language and cognitive development? In J. Altarriba & R. Heredia (Eds.), An introduction to bilingualism: Principles and practices (pp. 167–81). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Nicoladis, E. (2012). Cross-linguistic influence in French–English bilingual children’s pos-sessive constructions. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 15, 320–8. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728911000101
Nicoladis, E. (2016). Measuring language dominance in bilingual children: Ramifications on predicting crosslinguistic influence. In C. Silva-Corvalán & J. Treffers-Daller (Eds.), Operationalising and measuring language dominance (pp. 219–34). Cambridge: Cam¬bridge University Press.
Nicoladis, E., & Gavrila, A. (2015). Cross-linguistic influence in Welsh–English bilingual children’s adjectival constructions. Journal of Child Language, 42, 903–16. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305000914000440
Nicoladis, E., Song, J., & Marentette, P. (2012). Do young bilinguals acquire past tense mor-phology like monolinguals, only later? Evidence from French–English and Chinese–English bilinguals. Applied Psycholinguistics, 33, 457–79. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716411000439
Paradis, J., Nicoladis, E., & Genesee, F. (2000). Early emergence of structural constraints on code-mixing: Evidence from French–English bilingual children. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 3, 245–61. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728900000365
Poplack, S. (1981). Syntactic structure and social function of codeswitching. In R. Duran (Ed.), Latino language and communicative behavior (pp. 169–84). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Poplack, S. (1987). Contrasting patterns of codeswitching in two communities. In E. Wande, J. Apward, B. Nordberg, L. Steensland & M. Thelander (Eds.), Aspects of multi¬lingualism (pp. 55–77). Uppsala: Borgströms. Motala.
Quay, S., & Montanari, S. (2016). Early bilingualism: From differentiation to the impact of family language practices. In E. Nicoladis & S. Montarnari (Eds.), Bilingualism across the lifespan: Factors moderating language proficiency (pp. 23–42).Washington, DC: De Gruyter Mouton & American Psychological Association.
Silva-Corvalán, C. (2014). Bilingual language acquisition: Spanish and English in the first six years. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Smith, S. A., & Murphy, V. A. (2015). Measuring productive elements of multi-word phrase vocabulary knowledge among children with English as an additional or only language. Reading and Writing, 28, 347-369. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-014-9527-y
Theakston, A. L., Lieven, E. V. M., Pine, J. M., & Rowland, C. F. (2002). Going, going, gone: The acquisition of the verb ‘go’. Journal of Child Language, 29, 783–811. https://doi.org/10.1017/S030500090200538X
Tomasello, M. (1992). First verbs: A case study of early grammatical development. Cam-bridge: Cambridge University Press.
Tomasello, M. (2000). First steps toward a usage-based theory of language acquisition. Cog-nitive Linguistics, 11, 61–82. https://doi.org/10.1515/cogl.2001.012
Tomasello, M. (2003). Constructing a language: A usage-based theory of language acquisi-tion. Boston, MA: Harvard University Press.
Unsworth, S. (2016). Quantity and quality of language input in bilingual language develop-ment. In E. Nicoladis & S. Montarnari (Eds.), Bilingualism across the lifespan (pp. 103–21). Washington, DC: De Gruyter Mouton.
Verstraten, L. (1992). Fixed phrases in monolingual learners’ dictionaries. In P. J. L. Arnaud & H. Béjoint (Eds.), Vocabulary and applied linguistics (pp. 28–40). Houndmills, UK: Macmillan Academic & Professional.
Yip, V., & Matthews, S. (2000). Syntactic transfer in a Cantonese–English bilingual child. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 3, 193–208. https://doi.org/10.1017/S136672890000033X
Yip, V., & Matthews, S. (2007). The bilingual child: Early development and language contact. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.