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Unformatted text preview: Ling 122: English as a World Language – 15 Language Language Contact: Bilingualism and Code Switching
Readings: Johnson Sahgal Language Contact Language A situation that arises when And • two or more languages are spoken in the same or adjoining regions • when there is a high degree of communication between the people speaking them • • • Language loss or even language death Bi / multilingualism Language change Can result in Bilingualism (Multilingualism) Bilingualism Individual Bilingualism – the use of two (or more) languages by an individual Societal Bilingualism – the use of two (or more) languages within a given community • E.g., an individual who speaks both English and Spanish as described by many of the informants in the Hinton article • E.g., the bilingual setting in India as described by Sahgal Describing Individual Bilingualism & Multilingualism Multilingualism The term ‘bilingualism’ may mean different things to different people. • To the average person, bilingualism can be loosely defined as: the use of two languages or the nativelike control of two languages. Describing Individual Bilingualism Describing Bilingualism has often been defined in terms of language competence. But a definition of bilingualism must also account for the impact of social, psychological and cultural variables on the bilingual individual. How did you (or someone you know) become bilingual?
• What is your (their) proficiency in each language? • When do you (they) use each language? Describing Bilingualism & Multilingualism Multilingualism Is someone bilingual who: • has a slight nonnative accent in one or both languages? • makes occasional errors of syntax in one or both languages? • doesn’t always know the right word to use in one or both languages? • speaks both languages fluently but is culturally comfortable in only one language? Describing Bilingualism & Multilingualism Multilingualism Five important variables in relation to bilingualism: 1] degree of bilingualism 2] context of bilingual language acquisition 3] age of acquisition 4] domain of use of each language 5] social orientation Degree of Bilingualism - Definitions Degree Bloomfield (1933): nativelike control of two languages (maximalist) Mackey (1962): the ability to use more than one language (minimalist) Weinriech (1953): the practice of alternately using two languages (minimalist) Haugen (1953): the point where a speaker can first produce complete meaningful utterances in the other language (minimalist) Maximalist approach: describes the ideal bilingual (not reality) Macnamara (1969): need to discuss the degree of bilingualism / competence in subcomponents (LSRW) Degree of Bilingualism Degree Rate your own bilingual abilities (1 = weak; 5 = excellent) in your two languages Lg A Lg B
• • • • Listening Speaking Reading Writing Degree of Bilingualism – Balanced Bilinguals Bilinguals Individuals fully competent in both languages (Lambert et al. 1959) • Almost impossible to achieve (Baetens Beardsmore 1982) • Sociolinguistic forces demand that bilinguals organize their languages in functionally complementary spheres. No society needs two languages to perform the same set of functions. Balanced bilingualism entails the death of bilingualism. (Fishman 1972) Degree of Bilingualism – Dominant Bilinguals Bilinguals Individuals who are dominant in one language. • Less dominant language = ‘subordinate.’ • Dominance does not apply to all domains. One may be dominant in the subordinate language in some domains. Degree of Bilingualism – Passive / Recessive Bilinguals Individuals who are gradually losing competence in one language, usually because of disuse. • common among immigrant groups • often loose productive skills while retaining receptive skills Degree of Bilingualism – Semilinguals / Limited Bilinguals Individuals who appear to have limited proficiency in both languages. Deficit in six language competencies:
size of vocabulary correctness of language unconscious processing of language (automation) • language creation • mastery of the functions of language (e.g., emotive, cognitive) • meanings and imagery • • • Context of Bilingual Language Acquisition Acquisition Individual who are labeled as ‘limited bilinguals’ are usually from lower SES groups. Their language proficiency is the result of their SES and not some cognitive deficit. Can you think of individuals you know who might fit into some of the categories listed above? Context of Bilingual Language Acquisition Acquisition Primary context / natural bilingualism: situations in which a child acquires both languages in a naturalistic setting without any structured instruction Secondary context / school bilingualism: situations in which a child acquires one of the languages in a structured setting, usually school. Context of Bilingual Language Acquisition Acquisition Naturalistic fused setting: no separation of context for both languages; child is exposed to both languages in the same context. Naturalistic separate setting: one parent, one language model; but also applies to other interlocutors, i.e., siblings, peers, grandparents, etc. Context of Bilingual Language Acquisition Acquisition Elective bilinguals: individuals who have some element of choice about learning a second language. Circumstantial bilinguals: individuals who have no choice about learning a second language; indigenous colonized or minority groups. Distinction is important especially with respect to how bilinguals are measured. Age of Acquisition Age Sensitive age for language learning (from Lenneberg’s 1967 ‘critical period’): We have a superior language learning capacity early in life which will disappear or decline with maturation. • evidence for exceptions • no clear cutoff age Important references on age & acquisition:
• Birdsong, D. 1992. Ultimate attainment in second language acquisition. Language 684: 706755 • Birdsong, D. 2005. Interpreting age effects in second language acquisition, In J. Kroll & A De Groot, eds., Handbook of bilingualism: Psycholinguistic approaches. New York: Oxford University Press. Age of Acquisition Age Possible factors:
• • • • • What is a ‘native speaker’? neurological aptitudes attitude identity and motivation nature of exposure Age of Acquisition Age Rate your competence in your first language in the four macro skills (LSRW). Are you equally competent in all skills? What would be considered ‘nativelike’ proficiency for a learner of that language? What levels of competence do you expect native speakers to have? Who would you rule out as a native speaker? What standards of norms do you use in your assessment? (Consider someone brought up in India or the Philippines who speaks English as a first language. Would you consider that person a native speaker?) Domains of Use Domains Domains: the different spheres of influence in a speaker’s life – • • • • • • Family Friendship Religion Education Employment etc. Domains of Use Domains Interlocutors: a language relationship tends to evolve naturally. And once established, it is usually not easy to alter Place or Location: work vs. home; physical location like neighborhoods Topic: language of technical discourse or cooking, gardening, etc. Social Orientation Social Attitudes of bilinguals toward their bilingual status; Attitudes toward the larger community; Attitudes of the larger community toward them and their bilingual status. Additive vs. Subtractive Bilingualism Additive Subtractive bilingualism / differential bilingualism: Without first language support, the learning of a new language may entail the loss of that first language. Additive bilingualism: an environment conducive to the development of the first language as well as the development of the second language results in the maintenance of both. In the Sahgal article: What are the statuses of various languages of India? In Delhi, which three communities did Sahgal investigate? How? What method(s) were used? What domains of use were investigated? How did the different communities in Delhi use the three languages differently? Societal Bilingualism Societal Societal Bilingualism Identify a community here in California that you are familiar with. From your impressions, what languages are used? In what domains? ...
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