Production of tense marking in successive bilingual children: when do they converge with their monolingual peers?
Marinis, T. and Chondrogianni, V. (2010) Production of tense marking in successive bilingual children: when do they converge with their monolingual peers? International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 12 (1). pp. 19-28. ISSN 1754-9507
To link to this article DOI: 10.3109/17549500903434125
Children with English as a second language (L2) with exposure of 18 months or less exhibit similar difficulties to children with Specific Language Impairment in tense marking, a marker of language impairment for English. This paper examines whether L2 children with longer exposure converge with their monolingual peers in the production of tense marking. 38 Turkish-English L2 children with a mean age of 7;8 and 33 monolingual age-matched controls completed the screening test of the Test of Early Grammatical Impairment (TEGI). The L2 children as a group were as accurate as the controls in the production of -ed, but performed significantly lower than the controls in the production of third person –s. Age and YoE affected the children’s performance. The highest age-expected performance on the TEGI was attested in eight and nine year-old children who had 4-6 YoE. L1 and L2 children performed better in regular compared to irregular verbs, but L2 children overregularized more than L1 children and were less sensitive to the phonological properties of verbs. The results show that tense marking and the screening test of the TEGI may be promising for differential diagnosis in eight and nine year-old L2 children with at least four YoE.