Mixed Utterances in the Speech of German-English Bilingual Infants
- in englischer Sprache -
Hamburg 2011, 262 Seiten
ISBN 978-3-8300-5994-3 (Print), ISBN 978-3-339-05994-9 (eBook)
This book provides a detailed linguistic analysis of the mixed utterances produced by two German English bilingual children in their third and fourth year of life.
Starting with a critical review of the relevant questions currently discussed with respect to language mixing in bilingual first language acquisition, this book addresses issues such as the form and the function of mixed utterances in bilingual children’s speech (in comparison to bilingual adults’ language mixing), as well as possible causal factors. A clear cut terminological distinction between child and adult language mixing as well as between different types of child language mixing is established on the basis of the processes underlying each type of language mixing.
The analysis is based on bilingual acquisition data collected in a longitudinal study and is focused on the morpho-syntactic and lexical composition patterns of mixed utterances. The major aim is to show that the form of mixed utterances produced by young bilingual children is not random but can be systematically linked to specific causal factors which trigger bilingual strategies of acquisition, communication or processing. Two possible causal factors are analysed in detail: language development and discourse. The morpho-syntactic analysis of the mixed utterances is concerned with the factor language development and tests two developmental explanations that are currently discussed in the literature. The lexical analysis of the mixed utterances focuses on the factor discourse and its influence on language processing. These aspects have so far received little attention in qualitative accounts of lexical mixing. A discourse based approach to lexical selection has been developed and applied to the mixing data.
The results suggest that the composition of the mixed utterances under investigation is systematically influenced by these two factors. This influence is explained by assuming that the children compensate for their (still) limited linguistic and cognitive resources by employing bilingual strategies that facilitate communication and processing.
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