Catalan-Spanish bilingualism continuum
2016, Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, Issue 5, Pg. 477–513, Volume 7,
This study investigates the expression of Catalan clitics en and hi, which have no grammatical equivalent in Spanish, in the adult grammar of Catalan-Spanish early bilinguals. Participants (N = 57), born and raised in Catalonia, are divided into 3 groups according to their onset of acquisition and language use: Spanish-dominant (n = 20), Balanced Bilinguals (n = 15) and Catalan-dominant (n = 22). The results of an Acceptability Judgment Task and an Elicited Production Task indicated that Spanish-dominant bilinguals have a divergent grammar compared to that of the Catalan-dominant speakers, overaccepting ungrammatical omission and doubling of the clitics. The bilingual group patterned with the Catalan-dominant group in some of their judgments, but with the Spanish-dominant group in their production. It is argued that onset of acquisition cannot be the only explanation for the differences between the bilingual groups, and that quantity and quality of input play an important role in the acquisition process.