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The role of case and animacy in biand monolingual children’s sentence interpretation in German

  • German-speaking children appear to have a strong N1-bias when interpreting non-canonical OVSsentences. During sentence interpretation, especially unambiguous accusative and dative case markers (den ‘the-ACC’ and dem ‘the-DAT’) weaken the N1-bias and help building up sentence interpretation strategies on the basis of morphological cues. Still, the N1-bias prevails beyond the age of five (Brandt et al. 2016, Cristante 2016, Dittmar et al. 2008) and remains until puberty (Lidzba et al. 2013). This paper investigates whether prototypical case-animacy coalitions (denACC + N INANIMATE and demDAT + N ANIMATE ) strengthen a morphologically based sentence interpretation strategy in German. The experiment discussed in this paper tests for effects of such case-animacy coalitions in mono- and bilingual primary school children. 20 German monolinguals, 12 Dutch-German and 17 Russian-German bilinguals with a mean age of 9;6 were tested in a forced-choice off-line experiment. Results indicate that case-animacy coalitions weaken the N1-bias inGerman-speaking children appear to have a strong N1-bias when interpreting non-canonical OVSsentences. During sentence interpretation, especially unambiguous accusative and dative case markers (den ‘the-ACC’ and dem ‘the-DAT’) weaken the N1-bias and help building up sentence interpretation strategies on the basis of morphological cues. Still, the N1-bias prevails beyond the age of five (Brandt et al. 2016, Cristante 2016, Dittmar et al. 2008) and remains until puberty (Lidzba et al. 2013). This paper investigates whether prototypical case-animacy coalitions (denACC + N INANIMATE and demDAT + N ANIMATE ) strengthen a morphologically based sentence interpretation strategy in German. The experiment discussed in this paper tests for effects of such case-animacy coalitions in mono- and bilingual primary school children. 20 German monolinguals, 12 Dutch-German and 17 Russian-German bilinguals with a mean age of 9;6 were tested in a forced-choice off-line experiment. Results indicate that case-animacy coalitions weaken the N1-bias in OVS-conditions in German monolinguals and Dutch-German bilinguals, while no effects were found for Russian-German bilinguals. Together with an analysis of individual differences, these group-specific effects are discussed in terms of a developmental approach that represents a gradual cue strength adjustment process in mono- and bilingual children.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Jana GamperGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2019-0001
ISSN:2300-9969
Parent Title (English):Open Linguistics
Subtitle (English):a developmental perspective
Publisher:de Gruyter
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2019/04/09
Year of Completion:2019
Release Date:2019/09/18
Tag:L2 German; case-animacy; sentence interpretation
Volume:5
Issue:1
Pagenumber:24
Funder:Universität Potsdam
Grant Number:PA 2019_09
Organizational units:Philosophische Fakultät / Institut für Germanistik
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Peer Review:Referiert
Grantor:Publikationsfonds der Universität Potsdam
Publication Way:Open Access
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, 4.0 International
Notes extern:Zweitveröffentlichung in der Schriftenreihe Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Philosophische Reihe ; 163