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Sentence interpretation by typically developing Vietnamese–English bilingual children



We examined developing bilinguals' use of animacy and word order cues during sentence interpretation tasks administered in each of their languages. Participants were 6- to 8-year-old children who learned Vietnamese as a first language and English as a second language (n = 23). Participants listened to simple sentences and identified the agent or “doer” of the action. English-only peers (n = 23) served as a comparison group. Results indicated that the bilingual group relied more on animacy than the English-only group when interpreting sentences in English and that the bilingual group used a blending or “amalgamation” of cues to interpret English and Vietnamese sentences. Significant within-group variation in cue preference was investigated as a function of age and proficiency in the first language and second language.


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ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE Giang Pham, Department of Speech–Language–Hearing Sciences, University of Minnesota, 115 Shevlin Hall, 164 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. E-mail:


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Sentence interpretation by typically developing Vietnamese–English bilingual children



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