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Differential effects of internal and external factors on the development of vocabulary, tense morphology and morpho-syntax in successive bilingual children

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The present study investigates the effects of child internal (age/time) and child external/environmental factors on the development of a wide range of language domains in successive bilingual (L2) Turkish-English children of homogeneously low SES. Forty-three L2 children were tested on standardized assessments examining the acquisition of vocabulary and morpho-syntax. The L2 children exhibited a differential acquisition of the various domains: they were better on the general comprehension of grammar and tense morphology and less accurate on the acquisition of vocabulary and (complex) morpho-syntax. Profile effects were confirmed by the differential effects of internal and external factors on the language domains. The development of vocabulary and complex syntax were affected by internal and external factors, whereas external factors had no contribution to the development of tense morphology. These results are discussed in light of previous studies on the impact of internal and external factors in child L2 acquisition.
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Keywords: child L2 acquisition; internal and external factors; profile effects

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 29 July 2011

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