On the direction of cross-linguistic influence in the acquisition of object clitics in French and Italian

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Placement errors of object clitics (OCL) in French have been documented in 2L1 and L2 but not in L1 acquisition (Granfeldt 2012; Hamann & Belletti 2006). In the present study, we investigate whether placement errors of third person singular OCLs may be due to cross-linguistic influence. We exposed successive (L1 French/L2 Italian and L1 Italian/L2 French) and simultaneous (2L1 Italian/French) bilingual children to an OCL elicitation task. The results showed significant differences between the 2L1 and L2 groups in comparison with the L1 groups, and between the languages, thus corroborating the findings of previous studies. Production accuracy of OCLs in general was highest in L1, and higher in Italian than in French. However, placement errors of OCLs were found in 2L1 French and L2 Italian as well as in the L1 French of children who had Italian as L2. These findings suggest that cross-linguistic influence is bidirectional (Chenjie Gu 2010; Foroodi-Nejad & Paradis 2009; Nicoladis 1999). We discuss these results in relation to the proposal that cross-linguistic influence should occur only in one direction, i.e. only in one language, and only under certain conditions (Hulk & Müller 2000; Müller & Hulk 2001).


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Jämförande språkvetenskap och lingvistik


  • Språkinlärning, Franska, Italienska (språk och litteratur), Tvåspråkighet, pronomen, code mixing
Sidor (från-till)204-233
Antal sidor30
TidskriftLIA Language, Interaction and Acquisition
StatusPublished - 2017
Peer review utfördJa