Acquisition of English Plural Marking by a Cantonese-English Bilingual Child: A Corpus-based Case Study

Wing Yin Lee, Yike Yang


With regard to the nature of simultaneous bilingual acquisition, more studies on different aspects of bilingual language acquisition are required to determine whether these two linguistic systems are developed autonomously or interdependently. This corpus-based longitudinal study aims to provide new evidence concerning this controversial issue by examining the acquisition of English plural markers by a Cantonese-English simultaneous bilingual child and an English-speaking monolingual child. The results revealed that, overall, the bilingual child produced more errors in plural markers, with all of them being required but omitted (RO) errors. Moreover, it was found that over-regularisation (OG) was absent in the bilingual’s production of plurals. Furthermore, regarding the development sequence, it was found that the bilingual child lagged behind and achieved mastery of plural marking at a later age, which may have been related to the inevitably less frequent English input received by the bilingual child.


language acquisition; bilingualism; plural marking; corpus-based study; English

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