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Publications [#326439] of Elabbas Benmamoun

Papers Published

  1. Albirini, A; Benmamoun, E; Chakrani, B, Gender and number agreement in the oral production of Arabic Heritage speakers, Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, vol. 16 no. 1 (January, 2013), pp. 1-18, Cambridge University Press (CUP) [doi] .
    (last updated on 2020/01/18)

    Abstract:
    Heritage language acquisition has been characterized by various asymmetries, including the differential acquisition rates of various linguistic areas and the unbalanced acquisition of different categories within a single area. This paper examines Arabic heritage speakers' knowledge of subject-verb agreement versus noun-adjective agreement with the aim of contrasting their distributions and exploring areas of resilience and vulnerability within Arabic heritage speech and their theoretical implications. Two oral-production experiments were carried out, one involving two picture-description tasks, and another requiring an elicited narrative. The results of the study show that subject-verb agreement morphology is more maintained than noun-adjective morphology. Moreover, the unmarked singular masculine default is more robust than the other categories in both domains and is often over-generalized to other marked categories. The results thus confirm the existence of these asymmetries. We propose that these asymmetries may not be explained by a single factor, but by a complex set of morphological, syntactic, semantic, and frequency-related factors. Copyright © 2012 Cambridge University Press.


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