French-Dutch bilinguals do not maintain obligatory semantic distinctions: Evidence from placement verbs

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French-Dutch bilinguals do not maintain obligatory semantic distinctions: Evidence from placement verbs. / Alferink, Inge; Gullberg, Marianne.

In: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Vol. 17, No. 1, 2014, p. 22-37.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - French-Dutch bilinguals do not maintain obligatory semantic distinctions: Evidence from placement verbs

AU - Alferink, Inge

AU - Gullberg, Marianne

N1 - The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Humanities Lab (015101200), Linguistics and Phonetics (015010003)

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - It is often said that bilinguals are not the sum of two monolinguals but that bilingual systems represent a third pattern. This study explores the exact nature of this pattern. We ask whether there is evidence of a merged system when one language makes an obligatory distinction that the other one does not, namely in the case of placement verbs in French and Dutch, and whether such a merged system is realised as a more general or a more specific system. The results show that in elicited descriptions Belgian French-Dutch bilinguals drop one of the categories in one of the languages, resulting in a more general semantic system in comparison with the non-contact variety. They do not uphold the obligatory distinction in the verb nor elsewhere despite its communicative relevance. This raises important questions regarding how widespread these differences are and what drives these patterns.

AB - It is often said that bilinguals are not the sum of two monolinguals but that bilingual systems represent a third pattern. This study explores the exact nature of this pattern. We ask whether there is evidence of a merged system when one language makes an obligatory distinction that the other one does not, namely in the case of placement verbs in French and Dutch, and whether such a merged system is realised as a more general or a more specific system. The results show that in elicited descriptions Belgian French-Dutch bilinguals drop one of the categories in one of the languages, resulting in a more general semantic system in comparison with the non-contact variety. They do not uphold the obligatory distinction in the verb nor elsewhere despite its communicative relevance. This raises important questions regarding how widespread these differences are and what drives these patterns.

KW - bilingualism

KW - convergence

KW - Dutch

KW - French

KW - placement

KW - caused motion

U2 - 10.1017/S136672891300028X

DO - 10.1017/S136672891300028X

M3 - Article

VL - 17

SP - 22

EP - 37

JO - Bilingualism: Language and Cognition

JF - Bilingualism: Language and Cognition

SN - 1366-7289

IS - 1

ER -