This paper presents the results of two sentence production studies addressing the role of language exposure, prior linguistic modelling and discourse-pragmatic appropriateness on the phenomenon of cross-linguistic influence (CLI) in bilingual 5-year-olds. We investigated whether French-English bilingual children would be as likely as monolingual children to use a left-dislocation structure in the description of a target scene. We also examined whether input quantity played a role in the degree of accessibility of these syntactic constructions across languages. While the results indicate a significant effect of elicitation condition only in French, the relative amount of language exposure in each language predicted the likelihood of producing a left-dislocation in both French and English. These findings make a new contribution to the role of language exposure as a predictor of CLI. The data also support the recent proposal that CLI arises out of processing mechanisms.
|Journal||Bilingualism: Language and Cognition|
|Early online date||21 Jul 2015|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2016|