On the phonology-morphosyntax interface in child and adult learners of French - The development of determiners and consequences for left edge phenomena

Project: Research

Layman's description

The aim of this project is to investigate the developmental relationship between phonology, prosody and
morphosyntax in the acquisition of French by mono- and bilingual children (Swedish-French) and adult
second language learners (L1 Swedish). The focus will be on the emergence of the determiner system and a
number of properties related to determiners.

The aim of this project is to investigate the developmental relationship between phonology, prosody and
morphosyntax in the acquisition of French by mono- and bilingual children (Swedish-French) and adult
second language learners (L1 Swedish). The focus will be on the emergence of the determiner system and a
number of properties related to determiners, some of which display contrastive differences between the two
major languages involved here, French and Swedish.
A vast body of previous research has shown that whereas young children go through a stage where
determiners are either altogether omitted or produced with great variability in obligatory contexts, there’s
much less evidence for such a stage in adult learners, in particular if the L1 (or the L2) of the learners has
overt determiners. For French child language it has been argued that early production of (proto) determiners
is first produced within the initial phonological unit that the child posits (Wauquier & Yamaguchi, 2011). As
a consequence, determiners are from the beginning not segmented from the noun, i.e. the determiner is part
of the phonological representation of the noun, and later stay very closely attached (cliticized ) to the
following noun or adjective. Very differently, adult learners of French start out with segmented determiners
and it has been observed that these early determiners do not seem to display properties compatible with a
clitic status at all (Granfeldt, 2003).
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date2015/01/012016/12/31

Participants