6. Multilingualism: New Perspectives on Syntactic Development

  1. Tej K. Bhatia and
  2. William C. Ritchie
  1. Éva Berkes1 and
  2. Suzanne Flynn2

Published Online: 3 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118332382.ch6

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition

How to Cite

Berkes, É. and Flynn, S. (2012) Multilingualism: New Perspectives on Syntactic Development, in The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition (eds T. K. Bhatia and W. C. Ritchie), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118332382.ch6

Editor Information

  1. Syracuse University, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Applied Sciences Burgenland, Austria

  2. 2

    MIT, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 7 NOV 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334906

Online ISBN: 9781118332382

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Keywords:

  • complementizer phrase (CP);
  • cumulative enhancement model (CEM);
  • first-language (L1) acquisition;
  • L3 acquisition;
  • multilingualism;
  • second-language (L2) acquisition;
  • syntactic development;
  • typological primacy model

Summary

The chapter presents results of a series of studies which provide strong support against simplified accounts of language transfer from either first language (L1) or any previous language. These studies help us better understand language acquisition, and most particularly the nature of the hypotheses language learners impose when learning a new target language. Language development studies focusing on the acquisition of relative clauses in English presented in this chapter seek to elucidate language development by contemplating the development of language-specific properties of the complementizer phrase (CP). The chapter introduces three influential current models of multilingual acquisition: the second-language (L2) status factor; the typological primacy model; and the cumulative enhancement model (CEM) for language acquisition. L1 acquisition studies have provided important insights into how the mind and language work. The chapter also explores L3 acquisition, the acquisition process of any multilingual learner whether of a third language or a fourth language.