Trilingual effects at the microstructure and macrostructure levels in children’s narratives / Mihaela Pirvulescu

Réalisation : 20 juin 2017 Mise en ligne : 20 juin 2017
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Trilingual effects at the microstructure and macrostructure levels in children’s narratives / Mihaela Pirvulescu, in colloque "Bilingualism vs. monolingualism: a new perspective on limitations to L2 acquisition" organisé par le laboratoire Octogone-Lordat (Université Toulouse 2) sous la responsabilité de Barbara Köpke (UT2J), Holger Hopp (Technische Universität Braunschweig), Tanja Kupisch (Universität Konstanz), Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès, 19-20 juin 2017.

Ourstudy examines the narrative productions of trilingual children in Romanian,English and French. The childrengrew up speakingtheir heritage (minority) language at home,English as their main language of the society, andFrench through the immersion system, starting at age 6. Theeffects of learning two or three languages have been probed at the levels ofthe lexicon and grammar, especially with bilingual children, or with adultswhose third-language acquisition is influenced by their first or secondlanguages (Cummins, 2005; Montrul, 2013; Rothman, 2015). While recent studies have mainly looked at patternsand directionality of transfer, our contributionuncovers patterns of development in each of the three languages taking theperspective of mutual interaction among the three languages. We show that trilingual acquisition leads to effectsin each of the languageacquired, the main consequence being the introduction of optionality in diversegrammatical domains.

Datawere elicited through the Frog series (Mayer, 1969) in each language. 72narratives were elicited form 13 children (8 to 11 year-olds). Children arecomparable with each other in terms of amount of exposure to each of theirthree languages. Weanalyzed macrostructure and microstructure elements. For microstructure we measuredmorphosyntactic complexity (verbaldensity), lexical richness(Guiraud’s index) and accuracy (rate oferror-free utterances). We ran a quantitative/qualitative analysisof the inflectional morphology.For macrostructure we used the narrative structure scheme (NSS, Heilmann etal., 2010).

Resultsfor the NSS point to the transferability of ‘story grammar’; scores were notsignificantly different between languages (Figure 1). These findings raise thepossibility that telling stories benefits from school-based education and thatthe macrostructures of storytelling are transferable across languages (Paradis,2014, Pearson, 2002). Results for microstructure elements show an advantage forthe majority language (English). In addition, Romanian (heritage language)scores on vocabulary richnessand accuracy on pair with English whileit significantly lags behind French and English on the morphosyntacticscore (Table 1). However, problematic areas in inflectional morphology exist inall three languages. The heritage language has been characterized as prone toomission and substitution errors, as well as overall simplification; we foundthe same in some domains in all the languages of a trilingual child. The areasaffected in the three languages are omission and inconsistent marking ofdefiniteness and definiteness agreement, subject-verb agreement morphology andomission/selection of prepositions. We explore possible explanations at thelevel of processing or mental representation.

Langue :
Claire SARAZIN (Réalisation), Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès-campus Mirail (Production), SCPAM / Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès-campus Mirail (Publication)
Conditions d'utilisation
Tous droits réservés aux auteurs et à l'Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès.
Citer cette ressource:
UT2J. (2017, 20 juin). Trilingual effects at the microstructure and macrostructure levels in children’s narratives / Mihaela Pirvulescu. [Vidéo]. Canal-U. (Consultée le 25 mai 2022)

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