18/09/2019 Linguistics Psychology
DOI: 10.31234/osf.io/w74zk SemanticScholar ID: 243092712

Individual differences in the production of referential expressions: The effect of language proficiency, language exposure and executive function in bilingual and monolingual children

Publication Summary

One hundred and seventy-two English-speaking 5- to 7-year-olds participated in a referential communication task where we manipulated the linguistic mention and the visual presence of a competitor alongside a target referent. Eighty-seven of the children were additionally exposed to a language other than English (bilinguals). We measured children’s language proficiency, verbal working memory (WM), cognitivecontrol skills, family SES, and relative amount of cumulative exposure and use of the home language for the bilinguals. Children’s use of full Noun Phrases (NPs) to identify a target referent was predicted by the visual presence of a competitor more than by its linguistic mention. Verbal WM and proficiency predicted NP use, while cognitive control skills predicted both the ability to use expressions signallingdiscourse integration and sensitivity to the presence of a discourse competitor, but not of a visual competitor. Bilingual children were as informative as monolingual children once proficiency was controlled for.

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Ludovica Serratrice

Prof. Ludovica Serratrice

Reading University - Professor of multilingualism

Share this

Next publication

2009 Psychology

The Dynamics of Category Conjunctions

R. Hutter, R. Crisp, G. Humphreys, Gillian. M. Waters + 1 more