- Bilingual children's production of regular and irregular past tense morphology
- Bilingualism : Language and Cognition
- Volume | Issue number
- 18 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
This study examined the production of the Dutch past tense in Dutch-Hebrew bilingual children and investigated the effect of type of past tense allomorph (de versus te) and token frequency on productions of the past tense. Seven-year-old bilingual children (n=11) were compared with monolingual children: age-matched (n=30) and younger vocabulary-matched (n=21). Accuracy of regular and novel past tense was similar for the bilingual and monolingual groups, but the former group was worse on irregular past tense than the age-matched monolingual peers. All three groups showed effects of type frequency: te past tenses were more accurate than de. The difference between the bilingual and monolingual children surfaces in the extent of the effect: for the bilingual children it was most pronounced in verbs with low token frequency and novel verbs. Results are interpreted as stemming from a learning strategy or from phonological transfer from the Hebrew morphosyntactic system.
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