Edited by Leah Roberts, Kevin McManus, Norbert Vanek and Danijela Trenkic
[EUROSLA Yearbook 15] 2015
► pp. 1–40
This study investigates reference management of two groups of 8–12 year old Greek–German bilinguals, resident in Greece (Bilinguals_GR N = 38) and in Germany (Bilinguals_GE N = 39). We analyze the bilinguals’ retellings in each language and compare them with data from two monolingual control groups of Greek and German children (Monolinguals_GR and Monolinguals_GE, N = 20 respectively). We seek to establish how the use of referential forms in character introduction, maintenance and reintroduction in the bilinguals’ narrative retellings is affected by language dominance and whether proficiency in each language patterns similarly with respect to dominance in input. Our results indicate that differences in choice of referential form can be attributed to language dominance. Bilingual production of referential expressions differed from that of monolinguals when exposure to one language outweighed the other, as in the case of Bilinguals_GE. Similarly, proficiency in terms of vocabulary, verb diversity and syntactic complexity was affected in the weaker language for this group, which showed a strong dominance in German input. When exposure was more balanced (Bilinguals_GR), proficiency measures in both languages were affected, but to a lesser degree.
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