CROSSLINGUISTIC INFLUENCE IN ENGLISH AS THE WEAKER LANGUAGE OF FRENCH-ENGLISH AND POLISH-ENGLISH BILINGUAL CHILDREN

Justyna Leśniewska,

François Pichette

Abstrakt

This study aims to assess the extent of crosslinguistic influence in English as the weaker language of unbalanced bilingual children, and to compare the extent of such influence to that reported in the second language acquisition (SLA) literature. Additionally, by comparing children from different L1 backgrounds, we aim to see if typological distance impacts crosslinguistic influence. We collected elicited speech samples from 16 Polish-English and 44 French-English children who have had dual language input from birth, but whose English is weaker mostly because it is absent outside the home environment. The crosslinguistic error rates (an average of 6%) are lower for our participants than averages found in SLA literature, but still considerably high. Although French- and Polish-dominant children present comparable error profiles, the extent of crosslinguistic influence tends to be greater in the case of French-English bilinguals than for Polish-English bilinguals, which may reflect the perceived distance between the languages.

Słowa kluczowe: unbalanced bilingualism, BFLA, crosslinguistic influence, error analysis, weaker language
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