A Japanese-German-English Trilingual Childs Word Acquisition Patterns Focusing on Category Differences in Comprehension and Production


Problem: The current study focused on trilingual ( German, Japanese, and English) word acquisition by a single child to investigate relationships or patterns among the different categories of words produced and comprehended in the three languages at each time interval and to see possible changes of the patterns over the period of 14 months. Methods: vocabulary check lists ( MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory ) for the three languages were used. Results: As expected, the TOTAL numbers of words both produced and only comprehended in three languages showed very strong positive correlations. For individual word category, some showed no correlation, suggesting that the overall vocabularies of the three languages grow together but similar kinds of words are not necessarily learned jointly. In order to seek relationship among the categories in the three languages at each age, and as it is a case-study, the numbers of words each word category in each language were analyzed by a correspondence analysis. In general, it was found that for production, the three languages showed distinctive patterns at each age and grammatical word categories were more eminent in Japanese production, and the English production became more similar to the Japanese production along the age, while the German production did not change much; most words stayed in concrete noun categories. In some categories, such as animal names, food names, the German and English knowledge interacted. More detailed accounts in relation to changes in the linguistic environment will be provided in presentation.

Author Information
Aya Kutsuki, Kobe Shoin Women's University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: IICLLHawaii2016
Stream: Bilingualism

This paper is part of the IICLLHawaii2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon