The development of obligatory liaison in early L2 learners of French

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Studies on the acquisition of French liaison have primarily focused on monolingual children or adult second language (L2) learners in a university context. To bridge the gap between these two populations, the present article focuses on child L2 (cL2) learners – a particularly interesting group, since they are L2 learners who, unlike adults, do not have access to writing. How does liaison develop in cL2 French? Is the development more similar to L1 or L2 acquisition? These questions are explored through longitudinal data from cL2 learners (age of onset: 3;0–3;5, n = 3), with monolingual (n = 2) and bilingual (n = 3) L1 controls. The cL2 data present certain similarities with adult L2 learners, but also with L1 controls. However, productions vary greatly within the L2 group: whereas one of the three learners shows clear development over time, behaving similarly to the L1 children at the end of the observation period, another learner hardly produces any liaisons at all.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71–95
Number of pages25
JournalLanguage, Interaction and Acquisition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Specific Languages


  • phonology
  • second language acquisition
  • liaison
  • child second language acquisition


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