- Lexical knowledge of monolingual and bilingual children
- Applied Linguistics
- Volume | Issue number
- 14 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
The aim of the present study is to gain insight into the lexico-semantic knowledge of bilingual children growing up in a second-language immersion environment. The research focus is on aspects of lexical knowledge that are relevant for school success. Data were obtained by asking 40 monolingual Dutch and 40 bilingual Turkish children (9 and 11 year olds) to explain the meanings of common Dutch nouns in an extended word definition task. In a highly structured interview session the children were stimulated to express all the meaning aspects they could think of.
We evaluated both the differences between the two ethnic groups and the effect of age in relation to the types of meaning the children expressed, by means of statistical (loglinear) model fitting. Important differences were found with respect to the number of meaning aspects expressed and with respect to the nature of meaning relations involved. Compared to the monolingual Dutch children, the bilingual Turkish children tended to allot less extensive and less varied meanings to Dutch words.
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