Language dominance in bilingual acquisition: A case study of narrative production in Lithuanian

Ingrida Balčiūnienė, Ineta Dabašinskienė


The study examines macro- and microstructural characteristics of narrative production in Lithuanian as the first language of a group of Lithuanian-English sequential young (mean age 6;1) bilinguals (n = 12) living in the UK; the control group of monolingual Lithuanian children (n = 12) residing in Lithuania was tested as well. Monolingual children demonstrated greater vocabulary diversity and used a wider range of syntactic devices to create story cohesion than the bilinguals, although general story length (words, utterances, communication units) was higher in the bilingual group. The results point to specific aspects of language that may be difficult for children to acquire without formal education in Lithuanian. We speculate that the advantage in story length for bilingual speakers might be attributed to a greater emphasis on oral narratives within the UK educational system. 


Dominantkeel kakskeelses keeleomandamises: narratiiviloome juhtumiuuring leedu keeles

Uuring käsitleb Ühendkuningriigis elavate leedu-inglise suktsessiivsete kakskeelsete laste (n = 12, keskmine vanus 6;1) leedukeelse narratiiviloome makro- ja mikrostruktuurseid tunnuseid. Kontrollgrupina testiti Leedus elavaid ükskeelseid leedu lapsi (n = 12). Ükskeelsed lapsed moodustasid mitmekesisema sõnavara ja süntaktiliste vahendite abil sidusama narratiivi kui kakskeelsed, ehkki loo üldine pikkus (sõnad, lausungid, kommunikatiivsed üksused) oli kakskeelsel grupil suurem. Tulemused osutavad eri keelenähtustele, mille omandamisel võib lastel olla raskusi ilma leedukeelse formaalhariduseta. Oletame, et kakskeelsete kõnelejate paremus loo pikkuses võib olla seotud suurema rõhuasetusega suulisele narratiivile Ühendkuningriikide haridussüsteemis.


narrative analysis; cohesive devices; bilingualism; language acquisition; L1; Lithuanian

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ISSN 1736-2563 (print)
ISSN 2228-0677 (online)
DOI 10.5128/ERYa.1736-2563