Edited by Georgia Fotiadou and Ianthi Maria Tsimpli
[Language Faculty and Beyond 18] 2023
► pp. 166–191
It has been shown that Greek and Italian vary in the use of null subjects (Torregrossa, Bongartz & Tsimpli 2015; Torregrossa, Andreou & Bongartz 2020): while Italian null subjects tend to refer to the subject of the preceding clause, Greek null subjects show a less restricted distribution. The aim of this study is to show how this cross-linguistic difference is reflected in the use of null subjects by Greek-Italian bilingual children. Thirty-seven (N = 37) children ranging in age from 8;0 to 12;0 participated in the study. The production of null subjects was observed in narrative context and analyzed according to syntactic and discourse factors. The results show that the Greek pattern of use of null subjects is transferred to Italian and this effect is modulated by dominance, as measured by means of a sentence repetition task administered in both languages and background questionnaires.