- The vulnerability of gender on determiners in L1, 2L1 and L2 acquisition
- University of Bucharest Review
- Volume | Issue number
- 11 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
The acquisition of gender has been reported to be problematic for some groups of learners acquiring Germanic or Romance languages. It has been shown that L1 learners do better in gender acquisition than others, like bilingual children, child L2 learners and adult L2 learners. The reason for these differences is however not always clear. In this paper, we study the acquisition of gender on determiners by different groups of learners. We concentrate on the acquisition of French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch. The picture from a literature survey shows that contradictory results have been found. We suggest that the ‘vulnerability’ of this particular domain of grammar has to do with interacting factors in the acquisition. Among them are the specific characteristics of the language or languages involved, like the semantic and morphophonological characteristics of the nouns in each language, but also the quantity and quality of input, and the cross-linguistic influence exercised by one language on the other in a 2L1 or L2 setting. Instruction also seems to play a role.
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