Principial Investigator: Prof. Aldona Sopata (Poland), Prof. Dr. Bernhard Brehmer (Germany)

Researcher group: Kamil Długosz (Poland), Raina Gielge (Germany), Sylwia Eymann (Germany), Anna Marko (Poland)

Project description:

Polish-German Child Bilingualism: The Role of Age of Onset for Long-Term Achievement

The project investigates the effect of age at first exposure to Polish and German on the grammatical proficiency of Polish-German bilingual children in both of their languages.

Our first goal is to identify similarities and differences characterizing these acquisitional types at an advanced stage of language development (after 5 years of exposure to the L2) in order to determine the role of age of onset for long-term-achievement of bilinguals in both of their languages. More specifically, by looking at different grammatical properties in detail (determiners, null arguments, verb placement) the project focuses on the selectivity of age effects with regard to different linguistic domains.

A second aim is to determine the role of other linguistic and non-linguistic conditions that impact on the degree of attainment. Since data will be gathered for both languages and in both countries (Germany and Poland), our project combines research on bilingual first, early second and heritage language acquisition.

Third, the project also aims at identifying the conditions under which cross-linguistic influence (CLI) takes place, which direction it takes, whether it is beneficial or contributes to attrition and/or incomplete acquisition of one of the involved languages.