Gender assignment and gender agreement in adult bilinguals and second language learners of French

Kupisch, Tanja; Akpinar, Deniz; Stöhr, Antje
March 2013
Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism;2013, Vol. 3 Issue 2, p150
Academic Journal
This paper is concerned with gender marking in adult French. Four groups of subjects are compared: German-French simultaneous bilinguals (2Llers) who grew up in France, German-French 2Llers who grew up in Germany, advanced second language learners (L2ers) who are resident either in France or in Germany at the time of testing. The major goal of the study is to investigate whether differences in input conditions (acquisition in a minority vs. a majority language context) and differences in age of onset affect gender assignment and gender agreement in the same way or differently. Furthermore, we investigate whether successful acquisition of gender is dependent on influence from German. Two experiments, an acceptability judgment task and an elicited production task, are carried out. Results show successful acquisition of agreement in all groups. By contrast, gender assignment may be mildly affected if French is acquired in a minority language context or as an L2.


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