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Bilingualism

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					      Bilingualism

As a social and an individual
       phenomenon
          Defining Bilingual
• Almost everyone has at least some
  knowledge of another language.
• Some people have excellent command of
  both languages.
• There is a continuum from una cerveza
  más, por favor to native like competency
  Other issues in defining bilingual
• Skill in one domain may not translate to
  skill in another (pronunciation, reading,
  writing, etc.)
• Sociolinguistic competence: knowing
  styles, registers, discourse customs
• Domains of language use:
  – family, friendship, religion, employment,
    education, hobbies, politics, law/government,
    etc.
      Domains of language use
•   family
•   friendship
•   religion
•   employment
•   education
•   hobbies
•   politics, government, law
•   etc
• Bilinguals are rarely equally competent in
  both languages to discuss all domains of
  life.
• To what extent should context be taken
  into account?
• What is the ultimate value of having a
  consistent definition of what it means to be
  bilingual?
 How common is bilingualism?
• Worldwide there are ca. 5,500 languages,
  and ca 192 countries in the world = 29
  times more languages than countries!
• San Diego City Schools (SD Unified) has
  some 60 languages besides English
  spoken as a primary home language.
• 28.4% of SD Unified students are
  classified as English learners.
           Other countries
• South Africa: 11 official languages (5
  most common are IsiZulu (23%), Isixhosa
  (18%), Afrikaans (14.5%), Sepedi (9%),
  and English (8.5%)
• India: 15 languages classified as major
  languages, some 387 in total.
• Kenya has some 61 languages
• Papua New Guinea has some 823
  languages
 Is the bilingual brain different?
• Where are the different languages stored?
  Is there a single, overarching grammar, or
  are there sub-divisions?
• Brain regions: stimulation to left
  hemisphere language areas causes
  deficits to both languages, but in some
  areas one language may be more affected
  than another.
             bilingual brain
• Aphasia: Stroke victims with left
  hemisphere lesions may experience
  different effects:
  – both languages impaired.
  – one language impaired, other unaffected.
  – one language recovers quickly, the other lags
    behind.
        Bilingual Processing
• How do bilinguals effect language choice?
  – Maintain use of one language (L1 or L2)
  – Switch between languages
CONCEPTUALIZER                                    situational
    (message                                      knowledge,
   generation)                                    encyclopedia,
                                                  discourse, etc.


                                                     SPEECH-
  FORMULATOR                                      COMPREHENSION
                             LEXICON
 (grammatical and                                    SYSTEM
    phonological
     encoding)




 ARTICULATOR                                           AUDITION




    SPEECH

                    Levelt's speech production model
               the model
Situational Knowledge
• Who are the interlocutors? What are their
  language abilities?
• How well does the speaker control both
  languages?
• What is the purpose/topic of the
  discourse?
          Other components
• conceptualizer: formulation of a preverbal
  message, the output consists of all the
  information needed by the formulator to
  convert the communicative intention into
  speech.
• formulator: converts preverbal message
  into a ‘speech plan’, selecting lexical items
  and phonological sequence.
• articulator: converts the speech plan into
  instructions for actual speech
Adapting the model to bilinguals
Several factors must be taken into account
  when adapting this model to account for
  bilingual speech behavior.
• L2 knowledge is typically incomplete
  (there are typically fewer words & rules
  available to the speaker).
• L2 speech is less automatic, more
  attention has to be paid to execution.
• L2 speech carries a trace of L1
What does the bilingual lexicon
         look like?
• one system or two?



     [cat]   [gato]    [cat]   [gato]




• one system more efficient than having to
  (de)activate whole systems.
• one system better accounts for rapid
  switches
Maintaining the same language:
    the Subset Hypothesis
• words, syntactic rules, phonemes from a
  given language form a subset of the total
  system.
• Each subset can be activated
  independently.
• Subsets are formed and maintained by the
  use of words in specific contexts.
• In monolinguals subsets may be formed
  for different styles and registers.
Switching: Differential activation
• Searching the lexicon does not necessarily
  target or activate just one meaning.
• Context of language use may make some
  meanings more available than others.
• Some features of the preverbal message
  may be more important than others. Many
  features of concepts may overlap. Context
  may promote or demote some features in
  prominence.
        other considerations
• Even highly proficient bilinguals need
  more time to retrieve words (up to 150
  ms). the Non-native speaker has to
  balance the ‘need for speed’ (2-5 words
  per second) with other communicative
  goals.
• Language cues from the conceptualizer
  may exceed capabilities of the L2
  formulator
   Aside: speed of processing
• Passive vocabulary of a first year
  university student? maybe 75,000 words?
• Active lexicon considerably smaller, at
  maybe 30,000 words.
• Average rate of speech is about 150
  words per minute (peak ca 300 wpm)
• 200-400 ms to choose a word when we
  speak (wrong choice made maybe 1/1000)
  Reasons for Code switching?
• a meaningful discourse strategy
  – word or phrase has no straightforward
    equivalent in LX.
  – domain of language use


• result from a lack of knowledge.
   Some examples of code switching
• Wij zijn gewoon hetzelfde als babamiz
  annemiz.
‘We’re just the same as our parents.

• Maar dat is toch weer köy, hè.
‘But that is again backwardish, boorish

L2 words may express emotional value, or a
  more precise concept.
• Eh, Mom, ¿cómo se come la eggplant?

• No tienen miedo a la vida, you know?
  They risk their life on anything.

• A: Cada día se lleva su coffe pot upstairs.
  B: ¿Y qué tiene que me lleve mi coffe pot
  upstairs?
       Code Switching sites
• Selection of lexical items: conceptual
  mismatch between concept and word in
  LX may cause choice of another word or
  phrase from another language.
• Structural sites:
  – most common between coordinated
    sentences.
  – less likely between sentence and subordinate
    clause
  – least likely within a PP, or between subject
    and predicate
      Childhood bilingualism
• Raising bilingual children.
• What factors influence childhood
  bilingualism?
• How do kids keep their languages
  separate?
• Does bilingualism have any cognitive
  benefits?
     Raising bilingual children
• Children who begin acquiring a second
  language by the age of about 7 years tend
  to acquire native-like grammatical
  competency, given sufficient L2 input.
• Acquisition setting, amount of input, etc.
  generally lead to one language becoming
  the dominant one.
• One parent, one language a typical
  approach, but…
  Important factors to consider
• Amount and type of input.
  – who is the primary care giver?
  – how much input does each parent give?
  – what other languages is the child exposed to?
• Interaction or separation of the two
  systems.
  – in what domains does the child encounter L2?
  – what is the status of L1/L2 in society?
  Important factors to consider
• social and psychological factors.
  – prestige of the languages being learned.
  – institutional support.
  – social value of bilingualism.
  – cultural affinity.
  – relationship to parents/care givers.
  – extent to which parents’ languages are
    present in the community.
  Keeping languages separate
• Dominant model for raising bilingual
  children is ‘one parent, one language’.
• People who report using this strategy,
  however, often mix languages (interaction
  with community, with spouse, extended
  family, teachers, etc.)
• Parents’ languages may play less of a role
  in traditional societies, industrial societies.
  limitations to one parent, one
             language
• strict separation of languages not always
  feasible, nor is it always a natural way of
  using language.
• there is no hard evidence that children
  with mixed input acquire their languages
  any slower.
• children don’t rely (only) on parental cues,
  but rely on UG to perform tacit structural
  analyses of syntax, phonology, etc.
       Stages of acquisition
• Bilingual children seem to have separate
  grammars by the age of 2-2;6
• Bilingual children seem to undergo the
  same stages of acquisition as monolingual
  children (babbling, 1 word, 2 word,
  multiword stages, morpheme order,
  vocabulary development [including 18
  month explosion)
          Cognitive effects?
• Results of studies are mixed, though there
  are some claims:
  – increases cognitive flexibility?
  – easier to engage in abstract thought?
  – facilitates development of reading skills?
  – higher sensitivity to word form as distinct from
    word meaning?
                Diglossia
• Simultaneous use of 2 (or more) language
  varieties in distinct social domains within
  the same speech community.
• The languages may be related (Classical
  vs. colloquial Arabic, High German vs.
  Swiss German), or they may be unrelated
  (Spanish vs. Guaraní)
        Language Functions
• Typically, the H variety in a diglossic
  situation is perceived to be
  – more logical
  – more elegant
  – superior
• The H variety is usually also standardized
  (formal grammars, classroom instruction)
• Acquired later
• Typically has a literary heritage
               Functions of
• H variety used in more formal situations:
  – sermons
  – political speeches
  – university lecture
  – news broadcasts
  – newspaper editorial
  – most poetry and literature
               Functions of L
• L variety used in more personal settings:
  – instructions to waiters, servants, workmen
  – conversations with family, friends
  – folk literature (fairy tales, folk tales, songs,
    light verse)
  – soap operas, talk shows


• Use of L in inappropriate situations can be
  a serious social gaffe.
                 Examples
•   German-speaking countries
•   Haiti
•   Arabic-speaking countries
•   Tanzania (vernacular, Swahili, English)

				
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