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Research on the acquisition of German

The main developmental milestones in the acquisition of German are well-documented for a variety of acquisition situations. The first accounts of the acquisition of German grammar elaborated within the generative framework emerged in the early 1980s, notably Clahsen’s (1982) study of monolingual children. Since then, various studies have also been conducted on the development of the language in bilingual first language and second language acquisition situations.

Taken on the whole there is a sound body of research that serves as a basis for claims about the main developmental milestones and the scope of variation in the acquisition of German grammar by learners with profiles that differ in age of exposure and previously available knowledge. Thus far, however, the development of the German grammar in bilingual deaf learners remains largely unexplored. The situation is not unique to the acquisition of German but holds equally of the acquisition of other oral languages by bilingual deaf learners in other social contexts.

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