Differential object marking in Spanish-English early bilinguals

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35 Scopus citations


This paper examines the emergence and acquisition of marked accusative objects (Differential Object Marking, DOM, Bossong, 1991) in the spontaneous production of seven early Spanish-English simultaneous bilinguals (henceforth, 2L1) with different linguistic environments. The main finding is that the 2L1 group examined did not acquire differentially marked objects in the period studied, up to 3:6, nor did they behave similarly to Spanish monolingual children (L1) acquiring DOM (Montrul, 2011; Rodríguez-Mondoñedo, 2008). The current results support previous claims that link protracted development and incomplete acquisition (Montrul, 2008; Montrul and Sánchez-Walker, 2013). Tentatively, this study concludes that under reduced input conditions, 2L1 develop core aspects of their language, such as accusative and dative structures, but cannot acquire language-specific properties, such as the acquisition of the [person] feature needed for DOM in Spanish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-90
Number of pages29
JournalLinguistic Approaches to Bilingualism
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • DOM
  • Early bilinguals
  • Incomplete acquisition
  • Input
  • Interface
  • Objects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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