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Language choice in bimodal bilingual development.

Lillo-Martin D, de Quadros RM, Chen Pichler D, Fieldsteel Z - Front Psychol (2014)

Bottom Line: Even at the earliest observations, the children produced more signed utterances with Deaf interlocutors and more speech with hearing interlocutors.However, while three of the four children produced >75% speech alone in speech target sessions, they produced <25% sign alone in sign target sessions.Our results indicate that these children are sensitive to the language used by their interlocutors, while showing considerable influence from the dominant community language.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Linguistics, University of Connecticut Storrs, CT, USA ; Haskins Laboratories New Haven, CT, USA.

ABSTRACT
Bilingual children develop sensitivity to the language used by their interlocutors at an early age, reflected in differential use of each language by the child depending on their interlocutor. Factors such as discourse context and relative language dominance in the community may mediate the degree of language differentiation in preschool age children. Bimodal bilingual children, acquiring both a sign language and a spoken language, have an even more complex situation. Their Deaf parents vary considerably in access to the spoken language. Furthermore, in addition to code-mixing and code-switching, they use code-blending-expressions in both speech and sign simultaneously-an option uniquely available to bimodal bilinguals. Code-blending is analogous to code-switching sociolinguistically, but is also a way to communicate without suppressing one language. For adult bimodal bilinguals, complete suppression of the non-selected language is cognitively demanding. We expect that bimodal bilingual children also find suppression difficult, and use blending rather than suppression in some contexts. We also expect relative community language dominance to be a factor in children's language choices. This study analyzes longitudinal spontaneous production data from four bimodal bilingual children and their Deaf and hearing interlocutors. Even at the earliest observations, the children produced more signed utterances with Deaf interlocutors and more speech with hearing interlocutors. However, while three of the four children produced >75% speech alone in speech target sessions, they produced <25% sign alone in sign target sessions. All four produced bimodal utterances in both, but more frequently in the sign sessions, potentially because they find suppression of the dominant language more difficult. Our results indicate that these children are sensitive to the language used by their interlocutors, while showing considerable influence from the dominant community language.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Unimodal bilinguals. Percent use of utterances in the language of the context by (A) English-dominant children and (B) French-dominant children in English and French contexts (Paradis and Nicoladis, 2007) (Reproduced with permission from Taylor and Francis).
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Figure 2: Unimodal bilinguals. Percent use of utterances in the language of the context by (A) English-dominant children and (B) French-dominant children in English and French contexts (Paradis and Nicoladis, 2007) (Reproduced with permission from Taylor and Francis).

Mentions: One study examined the interlocutor sensitivity of slightly older children, in order to determine whether true discourse separation can be achieved in the preschool years. In addition to taking into consideration children's relative language dominance, this study also considered the factor of community dominance. Paradis and Nicoladis (2007) studied eight children, ages 3;06–4;11, in the English-dominant English-French bilingual community of Alberta, Canada. In this broader context, people are more likely to use English-only with English-speaking interlocutors, with some mixing occurring with French-speaking interlocutors. As expected (see Figure 2), the French-dominant children in this study tended to use French-only in French contexts, and they were highly likely to use English-only in English contexts. On the other hand, while the English-dominant children used English virtually exclusively in the English contexts, they had a lower proportion use of French in the French contexts. Paradis and Nicoladis suggested that the dominance of English in the greater sociolinguistic context contributed to this result; indeed, there was very little mixing in English contexts. In French contexts, more mixing was tolerated, with the children with weaker skills in French responsible for a good deal of this mixing.


Language choice in bimodal bilingual development.

Lillo-Martin D, de Quadros RM, Chen Pichler D, Fieldsteel Z - Front Psychol (2014)

Unimodal bilinguals. Percent use of utterances in the language of the context by (A) English-dominant children and (B) French-dominant children in English and French contexts (Paradis and Nicoladis, 2007) (Reproduced with permission from Taylor and Francis).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4202712&req=5

Figure 2: Unimodal bilinguals. Percent use of utterances in the language of the context by (A) English-dominant children and (B) French-dominant children in English and French contexts (Paradis and Nicoladis, 2007) (Reproduced with permission from Taylor and Francis).
Mentions: One study examined the interlocutor sensitivity of slightly older children, in order to determine whether true discourse separation can be achieved in the preschool years. In addition to taking into consideration children's relative language dominance, this study also considered the factor of community dominance. Paradis and Nicoladis (2007) studied eight children, ages 3;06–4;11, in the English-dominant English-French bilingual community of Alberta, Canada. In this broader context, people are more likely to use English-only with English-speaking interlocutors, with some mixing occurring with French-speaking interlocutors. As expected (see Figure 2), the French-dominant children in this study tended to use French-only in French contexts, and they were highly likely to use English-only in English contexts. On the other hand, while the English-dominant children used English virtually exclusively in the English contexts, they had a lower proportion use of French in the French contexts. Paradis and Nicoladis suggested that the dominance of English in the greater sociolinguistic context contributed to this result; indeed, there was very little mixing in English contexts. In French contexts, more mixing was tolerated, with the children with weaker skills in French responsible for a good deal of this mixing.

Bottom Line: Even at the earliest observations, the children produced more signed utterances with Deaf interlocutors and more speech with hearing interlocutors.However, while three of the four children produced >75% speech alone in speech target sessions, they produced <25% sign alone in sign target sessions.Our results indicate that these children are sensitive to the language used by their interlocutors, while showing considerable influence from the dominant community language.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Linguistics, University of Connecticut Storrs, CT, USA ; Haskins Laboratories New Haven, CT, USA.

ABSTRACT
Bilingual children develop sensitivity to the language used by their interlocutors at an early age, reflected in differential use of each language by the child depending on their interlocutor. Factors such as discourse context and relative language dominance in the community may mediate the degree of language differentiation in preschool age children. Bimodal bilingual children, acquiring both a sign language and a spoken language, have an even more complex situation. Their Deaf parents vary considerably in access to the spoken language. Furthermore, in addition to code-mixing and code-switching, they use code-blending-expressions in both speech and sign simultaneously-an option uniquely available to bimodal bilinguals. Code-blending is analogous to code-switching sociolinguistically, but is also a way to communicate without suppressing one language. For adult bimodal bilinguals, complete suppression of the non-selected language is cognitively demanding. We expect that bimodal bilingual children also find suppression difficult, and use blending rather than suppression in some contexts. We also expect relative community language dominance to be a factor in children's language choices. This study analyzes longitudinal spontaneous production data from four bimodal bilingual children and their Deaf and hearing interlocutors. Even at the earliest observations, the children produced more signed utterances with Deaf interlocutors and more speech with hearing interlocutors. However, while three of the four children produced >75% speech alone in speech target sessions, they produced <25% sign alone in sign target sessions. All four produced bimodal utterances in both, but more frequently in the sign sessions, potentially because they find suppression of the dominant language more difficult. Our results indicate that these children are sensitive to the language used by their interlocutors, while showing considerable influence from the dominant community language.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus