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Languages 2018, 3(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3030036

Teasing Apart the Effects of Dominance, Transfer, and Processing in Reference Production by German–Italian Bilingual Adolescents

1
Institut für Romanistik, Universität Hamburg, Überseering 35, 22297 Hamburg, Germany
2
Englisches Seminar I, Universität zu Köln, Albertus Magnus Platz, 50923 Cologne, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 February 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract

This paper intends to test different accounts of bilingual reference production against the production of referring expressions in Italian by German‒Italian bilingual adolescents. In particular, we investigate to what extent bilingual referring expressions involve transfer from one language to the other, result from processing and dominance variables, and are the outcome of a process of language change. We will show that each of these hypotheses makes a precise prediction about which referential strategy bilinguals should adopt. The production of referring expressions is examined in the context of a story-telling task. Based on the analysis of overspecified forms, clitic omissions, and agreement mismatches, as well as on correlations with dominance factors, we argue in favor of the relevance of dominance and processing factors for bilingual reference production. Finally, we verify the possibility of generalizing our conclusions to a different linguistic domain, concerning the expression of word order in main clauses. View Full-Text
Keywords: reference production; transfer; dominance; processing; language change; overspecified referring expressions; clitics; narratives reference production; transfer; dominance; processing; language change; overspecified referring expressions; clitics; narratives
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Torregrossa, J.; Bongartz, C. Teasing Apart the Effects of Dominance, Transfer, and Processing in Reference Production by German–Italian Bilingual Adolescents. Languages 2018, 3, 36.

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