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The development of English tense and agreement morphology in Welsh-English bilingual children with and without specific language impairment

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    Rights statement: This article has been published in a revised form in "Applied Psycholinguistics", https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716418000772. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Chondrogianni and Kwon.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-852
JournalApplied Psycholinguistics
Issue number4
Early online date26 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


This study investigated whether third person singular (3SG) –s and past tense accuracy and error types can reveal distinct developmental patterns of agreement and tense acquisition inyounger and older Welsh L1 – English sequential bilingual (L2) children with typical development (L2-TLD) and in younger children with language impairment (L2-SLI_Y). A group of older (L2-TLD_O) (mean age: 93.72 months) and younger (L2-TLD_Y) (mean age: 67 months) Welsh-English typically developing bilingual children and a group of young (meanage: 63 months) children with SLI (L2-SLI_Y) age-matched to the L2-TLD_Y group were administered the screening component of the Test of Early Grammatical Impairment (Rice &Wexler, 2001). The results indicated that the three groups differed in their production of 3SG–s and regular past tense but not in terms of accuracy on irregular past tense verbs, when vocabulary skills were considered. The L2-SLI_Y children produced similar error types to theL2-TLD_Y children, who differed from their L2-TLD_O peers in this respect. L2 children’s vocabulary size, non-verbal intelligence and item-level factors, such as frequency and morphophonology, differentially contributed to their performance across the various morphemes. We discuss these results within current accounts of language development and impairment.

    Research areas

  • child second language acquisition, specific language impairment, third person singular, regular and irregular past tense

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