Activities and Seminars

Maria José Ezeizabarrena. An approach to the typology of early Basque bilinguals
Date: May 16, 2013

What: An approach to the typology of early Basque bilinguals

Where: BCBL auditorium

Who: Maria José Ezeizabarrena. University of Basque Country (UPV-EHU)

When: 12 noon

A general question addressed typically in the study of bilingual language acquisition is whether bilinguals, which may be early or later acquirers of at least one of their languages, use their languages in a (dis)similar way to monolinguals. Moreover, the differences attested between monolingual and bilingual individuals’ linguistic performance are traditionally discussed in terms of the effect of the age of acquisition, the effect of the linguistic input and/or of crosslinguistic influence. Noteworthy, the fact that not every language has monolingual or native speakers indicates that the question regarding monolingual vs. bilingual language acquisition cannot be addressed universally. Nevertheless, performance variability observed among bilinguals suggests that the effect of language external factors should not be disregarded in the study of bilingual profiles.

In this talk I will present results of several studies on the early comprehension of vocabulary (up to 15 months), on the production of vocabulary and morphology (up to 50 months) and the production and/or comprehension of some specific linguistic structures (5-8 years)in Basque, a minority language without monolingual speakers. Data of children exposed to the Basque language from very early ages, though at a different degree, obtained using diverse (non-)experimental methodologies lead us to find some different patterns of bilingual language acquisition even among children exposed to the Basque language during the critical period. Additionally, the detection of different linguistic profiles in early bilingual acquisition may shed more light on the linguistic components that are (more/ less) sensitive to language external factors.