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Original scientific paper

Trilingual acquisition of Croatian: Case Study

Ksenija Ivir-Ashworth

Fulltext: croatian, pdf (75 KB) pages 159-166 downloads: 826* cite
APA 6th Edition
Ivir-Ashworth, K. (2006). Trojezično usvajanje hrvatskoga jezika: prikaz slučaja. Lahor, 2 (2), 159-166. Retrieved from
MLA 8th Edition
Ivir-Ashworth, Ksenija. "Trojezično usvajanje hrvatskoga jezika: prikaz slučaja." Lahor, vol. 2, no. 2, 2006, pp. 159-166. Accessed 18 May 2021.
Chicago 17th Edition
Ivir-Ashworth, Ksenija. "Trojezično usvajanje hrvatskoga jezika: prikaz slučaja." Lahor 2, no. 2 (2006): 159-166.
Ivir-Ashworth, K. (2006). 'Trojezično usvajanje hrvatskoga jezika: prikaz slučaja', Lahor, 2(2), pp. 159-166. Available at: (Accessed 18 May 2021)
Ivir-Ashworth K. Trojezično usvajanje hrvatskoga jezika: prikaz slučaja. Lahor [Internet]. 2006 [cited 2021 May 18];2(2):159-166. Available from:
K. Ivir-Ashworth, "Trojezično usvajanje hrvatskoga jezika: prikaz slučaja", Lahor, vol.2, no. 2, pp. 159-166, 2006. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 18 May 2021]

The study presents the case of two girls (aged between one and seven) who, from birth, have been exposed to three languages: Croatian, German and English. The girls are growing up in Great Britain, a country in which only one of their languages is widely used. What influence does this fact have upon the children’s linguistic development? Speech samples are used to show the development of each of the three languages and their influence upon each other. Some of the questions addressed in this paper include the following: 1. Do the languages develop in parallel? 2. How do the languages interact with each other? 3. Under which circumstances does this occur? 4. Is communicative competence achievable in all three languages? The study concludes that communicative competence in three languages is possible, however, with various degrees of competence. While monolingual speakers use their one language in all of life’s circumstances, multilingual speakers utilise each of their languages in specific situations. Each language is, in a manner of speaking, specialised for certain situations. The breadth of the communicative repertoire of each of a multilingual’s languages may not equal the breadth of a monolingual’s repertoire in one language; nevertheless, multilingual speakers are competent speakers of their languages.

trilingual acquisition; code mixing; Croatian; German; English; communicative competence

Hrčak ID: 10911



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