Childhood bilingualism and Specific Language Impairment: A study of the CP-domain in German SLI

Tobias Ruberg, Monika Rothweiler, João Veríssimo, Harald Clahsen
2019 Bilingualism: Language and Cognition  
This study addresses the question of whether and how growing up with more than one language shapes a child's language impairment. Our focus is on Specific Language Impairment (SLI) in bilingual (Turkish–German) children. We specifically investigated a range of phenomena related to the so-called CP (Complementizer Phrase) in German, the hierarchically highest layer of syntactic clause structure, which has been argued to be particularly affected in children with SLI. Spontaneous speech data were
more » ... s speech data were examined from bilingual children with SLI in comparison to two comparison groups: (i) typically-developing bilingual children, (ii) monolingual children with SLI. We found that despite persistent difficulty with subject-verb agreement, the two groups of children with SLI did not show any impairment of the CP-domain. We conclude that while subject-verb agreement is a suitable linguistic marker of SLI in German-speaking children, for both monolingual and bilingual ones, 'vulnerability of the CP-domain' is not.
doi:10.1017/s1366728919000580 fatcat:dkbekpgg2ncotkdnlzdn6t6ptu