Vulnerable Domains and Cross-Linguistic Influence: The View from Trilingual Acquisition.

Megan Devlin, Raffaella Folli, Alison Henry, Christina Sevdali

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Although bilingualism has been the subject of considerable research, we know considerably less about what happens when a child acquires three languages. This paper is based on a case study of the simultaneous trilingual language acquisition of English, Italian and Scottish Gaelic. This language combination is especially interesting as the three languages vary significantly in their morphosyntactic structure. The data collection for this longitudinal project occurs weekly and started when the subject was 2:3 and is on-going. This particular paper will focus on three target deviant constructions produced by the child from the age of 2:4 to present (4:5): i) ‘it-doubling’ constructions; ii) adjectival constructions; and iii) possessive + noun constructions. We examine these target deviant constructions to investigate further the relationship between the three languages being acquired. The overarching question is whether the languages have any influence on each other, if so in what way and in which grammatical domain.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Language Acquisition
EditorsS Stavrakaki, M Lalioti, X Konstantinopoulou
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN (Print)978-1-4438-4783-4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jul 2013


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