Gregersen, Frans, Leonie Cornips & Ditte Boeg Thomsen 2021. The acquisition of grammatical gender of determiners in Danish monolingual and bilingual children: an experimental study.

Frans Gregersen, L. Cornips, Ditte Boeg Thomsen

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines the acquisition of grammatical gender of the indefinite and definite Determiner Phrase (DP) in Danish. It investigates which grammatical contexts further acquisition and which slow it down, and whether distinguishing between monolinguals and bilinguals makes a difference. Danish has a two-way gender distinction (Common and Neuter), fusing gender with definiteness in the DP. In order to answer our research questions we tested monolingual and bilingual Danish-speaking children (n=72) representing different age groups with the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, a Picture Description Task, and a Story Task. A generalized linear mixed effects regression analysis of the results shows that (i) that the children produced the standard Danish determiner significantly more often for Common nouns than Neuter nouns, (ii) the children produced significantly more standard Danish gender marking in simple DPs than in complex DPs, (iii) the children produced significantly more expressions with definite determiners realised as suffixes than with indefinite determiners expressed as prenominal articles in accordance with conventional norms, and (iv) bilingual children produced significantly less standard Danish gender marking than their monolingual peers, but ceiling effects in the monolingual group made it impossible to examine interactions between group and grammatical context.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Germanic Linguistics
Volume33
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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