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Online processing of which-questions in bilingual children: evidence from eye-tracking

Pontikas, G., Cunnings, I. ORCID: and Marinis, T. (2023) Online processing of which-questions in bilingual children: evidence from eye-tracking. Journal of Child Language, 50 (5). pp. 1082-1118. ISSN 0305-0009

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/S0305000922000253


An emergent debate surrounds the nature of language processing in bilingual children as an extension of broader questions about their morphosyntactic development in comparison to monolinguals, with the picture so far being nuanced. This paper adds to this debate by investigating the processing of morphosyntactically complex which–questions (e.g., Which bear is chasing the camel?) using the visual world paradigm and is the first study to examine the online processing of such questions in bilingual children. For both groups, object which-questions were more difficult than subject which-questions, due to an initial misinterpretation that needed to be reanalysed. Both groups were aided by number mismatch between the two nouns in the sentence, especially in object which-questions. Our findings are in line with previous studies that have shown a slower processing speed in bilingual children relative to monolinguals but qualitatively similar patterns.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
ID Code:105406
Publisher:Cambridge University Press


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