Lexical development in early bilinguals: Approaching early bilingualism development in the case of Spanish-Basque bilinguals
Early bilingual toddlers who were exposed to English and Spanish from the very beginning were taken in order to participate in a study about lexical and grammatical development by using the MacArthur-Bates’ CDI in a study carried out by Marchman et al. (2004). The MacArthur-Bates’ CDI is a parental questionnaire that allows to know the lexical and grammatical development of a child in a given language. Over and above some factors, what was striking was that every child presented the same characteristics: everyone reported stronger relationships between lexicon and grammar within language, and weaker relationships across language. The aim of the current study was to show that in the case of 5 children, who were exposed to both Spanish and Basque from the very beginning, within language lexical-grammatical associations were stronger than across languages lexical-grammatical associations by using the IDHC and KGNZ. These two instruments are the different CDI adaptations in Spanish and Basque, respectively, owing to the different properties Spanish and Basque have. For this reason, in order to come across with the lexical-grammatical relations, in the current study the focus has been established in the clothes and body parts section in the vocabulary part, then in the section how the child uses and understands the language, and then in the grammatical part words endings, verbs and ML3. Results have shown that in every child’s case within language relationships in Spanish and in Basque were stronger while across language relations were weaker, as happened in Marchman et al. (2004). Furthermore, methodological difficulties while completing the children’s questionnaires in this study were found, so suggestions for further research in this kind of situation have been proposed.