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This study explored the long-term effects of limited input on bilingual teenagers’ acquisition of complex morphology in Welsh. Study 1 assessed 168 12-13 and 16-17-year-old teenagers, across three bilingual groups –L1-Welsh, L1 Welsh-English (or simultaneous), and L2-Welsh –on their receptive knowledge of grammatical gender. Study 2 assessed the same participants on their production of plural morphology. Whilst the results of Study 1 revealed continuous progression towards adult norms among L1 Welsh-speaking bilinguals, with the simultaneous bilinguals progressing at a slower rate, the results of Study 2 revealed performances on plural morphology that were comparable to adult norms among the 16-17 year old L1 Welsh-speaking bilinguals, and some progression among the simultaneous bilinguals. In contrast, delayed progression was seen among the L2 Welsh speaking bilinguals across-the-board, with 16-17 year old L2 participants lagging behind their L1 peers on both grammatical gender and plural morphology. The implications of these findings for our understanding of the long-term outcomes for bilinguals learning complex structures under minority language conditions are discussed.


  • input, Welsh, minority language, ultimate attainment, teenagers, morphology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1019-1049
JournalApplied Psycholinguistics
Issue number4
Early online date12 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

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