The Effect of Non-native Input and Other External Factors on Bilingual Language Acquisition
Leeuwen, D.M. van
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This thesis explores differences in the Dutch linguistic (morphosyntactic and lexical) proficiency of four to seven year-old Moroccan-Dutch bilinguals in The Netherlands. Aiming to explain these differences, this study examines the effect of environmental variables, in general, of the input quality, more specifically, and of the amount of non-native input, particularly, on linguistic development. Previous research suggests an important role for the environment on bilingual and early second language development, but the effect of non-native input is relatively under-researched. A set of standardised and experimental tasks is used to determine children's Dutch proficiency and properties of the input are registered by means of a parental questionnaire. Results reveal a complex interplay between various internal and external variables. With respect to the environmental variables, both input quantity and input quality affect components of the bilingual children's Dutch proficiency. With respect to non-native input, both the relative amount of non-native input and the average input quality have an effect on linguistic development. Practical implications and suggestions for future research are presented.