Acquiring Tarifit-Berber by Children in the Netherlands and Morocco

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Yahya E-rramdani
Aksant, 2003 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 230 pages
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Few people wonder how language acquisition is possible. How do human beings within few years after birth become able to speak by themselves without any explicit guidance, transcending both their limited experience and biological limitations? How is it possible that a child is capable of learning any language, or even more than one language easily? It is this miraculous nature of language acquisition which is the topic of this study. Children of minority groups in the Netherlands do not reach native-like mastery in the language of their parents or their primary home language. The proficiency of these children seems to deviate from established norms of native speakers in the country of origin. Deviations from such norms implicitly refer to inaccurate or incorrect grammatical output. Such deviations can be temporary, related to a slow-down in the order of acquisition, or enduring and permanent as a result of incomplete acquisition. After 40 years of migration, and at the time that the Moroccan community is counting its third generation, many questions emerge as to the process of Berber acquisition and status quo of proficiency of children in the Netherlands in comparison with their peers in Morocco. The outcome of this fascinating comparison is yet the beginning of a deeper understanding of the fascinating path of language acquisition in migration.

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Contents

j The pilot study
1
The Status of Tarifit in Morocco and in the Netherlands
5
Design of the study
25
Sociolinguistic profile of the children of the main study
71
Pluralformation
85
Case marking
117
Gender and number distinction
131
Perfective formation
147
p Word order construction
165
Conclusions and discussion
181
References
201
Appendices
209
Language test of grade 8 children
223
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