Carsten Becker skrev:
 > Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]> schrieb:
 >> First, all forms are epicene. This is true even though
 >> has no trouble distinguishing the sexes, and readily
 >> tells me whether someone is a "boy" or a "girl" (which
 >> categories apply to any age),

I just read in the newspaper today about a three-year old
who saw a long-haired man in the swimming hall shower room
and asked "Why has that girl got a willie?" :-)

 >> but the pronouns are the
 >> same for both. Second, the particular words are strange:
 >>    nominative: her possessive: hers oblique: him
 > Hehe, I remember my siblings both having had problems with
 > declension. They always mixed up their articles. But
 > that's the only problem I remember -- well, I was just 5
 > years old myself my brother was born and 6 when my sister
 > was born. Anyway, I'm curious how my children will learn
 > to speak, given that I'll become father sometime ...
 > However, when you mix up the articles in German, you also
 > mix up gender.

The main problem with my L1 1/2 variety of German is that I
consistently(!) mix up gender and article-noun-adjective
agreement. The main cause of confusion is of course that
_der, des, dem_ occur in different genders (_der_ even in
different cases between the genders). I stopped using German
with my mother on a daily basis when I started school at 7
y/o, and my German grammar fossilized where it was then.

Clearly it would have been more advanced at that age if I
had had more regular German interlocutors than my mother, my
aunt and one of the physiotherapists at my Kindergarten for
disabled children, and thus the incentive to conform and
correct had been stronger. I wonder if there has been any
research on the difference between children learning a
language being immersed in a community, or only from a few
adults in an immigrant milieu?


/BP 8^)>
Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se

    a shprakh iz a dialekt mit an armey un flot

                                 (Max Weinreich)