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Hartmann, Stefan; Koch, Nikolas ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6917-9318 and Endesfelder Quick, Antje (November 2022): Cognitive Linguistics meets multilingual language acquisition. What pattern identification can tell us. In: Hampe, Beate and Binanzer, Anja (eds.) : Yearbook of the German Cognitive Linguistics Association. Vol. 10. Berlin ; Boston: de Gruyter Mouton. pp. 239-258

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The usage-based approach to first language acquisition has become highly influential in research on first language acquisition. In recent research, it has also been adapted to account for language contact phenomena in multilingual first language acquisition, i.e. in situations in which children acquire two or more languages simultaneously. In this paper, we give a brief overview over these developments, summarize some first major results of this research program, and discuss remaining open questions and challenges. In particular, we review a number of studies that have used the traceback method, previously established in research on monolingual acquisition, to identify recurrent patterns in the early language of multilingual children, especially in their code-mixing, i.e. the use of more than one language in one utterance. We argue that the usage-based approach can help to shed light on some of the open questions in research in multilingual acquisition, especially as it is highly compatible with other prominent concepts in current research on multilingualism, and that it provides us with the methodological toolkit that is needed to investigate language contact phenomena in a data-driven way.

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