Stellingen behorend bij het proefschrift / propositions belonging to the thesis

The role of dummy auxiliaries
in the acquisition of finiteness in Dutch
a comparison between various groups of L1 and L2 learners

Manuela Julien

  1. (Dummy) auxiliaries have a pivotal function in the acquisition of finiteness in Dutch. (this thesis)
  1. Target language input, more than language background, influences the choice of dummy auxiliaries. This is true for children, but less straightforward for adults. (this thesis)
  1. Extensive use of the dummy auxiliary gaan is not restricted to L2 Dutch or to very young monolingual Dutch children. Older typically developing monolingual children (at least up to 5;7 years) do this too. (this thesis)
  1. Production of gaan+inf in the early stage of child Dutch language acquisition does not denote tense or aspect. (this thesis)
  1. Bilingual children follow the same developmental patterns, make the same type of errors, use the same strategies and learn finiteness in Dutch in approximately the same timespan as monolingual children do. (this thesis)
  1. Comparison of children’s language skills on the basis of age or grade is inadequate for the diagnosis of possible developmental language impairment. Age/grade-related criteria need to be replaced by the criterion of length (and preferably quantity, quality and frequency) of exposure to the language being acquired. (this thesis)
  1. Bilingual SLI children are not cumulatively disadvantaged when it comes to the acquisition of finiteness in Dutch. (this thesis)
  1. Neglecting children’s first language at the moment they start kindergarten, VVE (Early Childhood Education) programs or school leads to first language loss. This may have severe negative consequences for the communication between parents and children as well as for the children’s development and wellbeing.
  1. People’s creativity thrives there where scarcity abounds. Language learner’s scarce knowledge of the grammatical rules of the target language often results in a creative use of constructions. The use of dummy auxiliaries exemplifies this phenomenon.
  1. Our contemporary society’s hasty endeavour to attain long-term targets in a short time has long-lasting negative consequences.