Acquisition of meaning in bilingual children: Interference, translation and errors

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Abstract

Even though the process of the acquisition of phonology and syntax in bilingual children resembles that of monolinguals, vocabulary acquisition in bilingual children heavily depends on the input in each language. Bialystok (2004, p. 66) holds that “it may be that the acquisition of syntax and phonology is adequately triggered by exposure to the language, but vocabulary needs to be learned”. Children appear to have the capacity for acquiring more than the basic volume of vocabulary necessary for one language system. The aim of the present paper is to examine the following aspects: the processes of the acquisition of meaning; the manifestation of interference, transfer and borrowing; the task of finding translation equivalents; errors in vocabulary usage in bilingual children.

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