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ERIC Number: ED184303
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Jun
Bilingual Children's Use of Language Mixing and Switching. Proceedings of the Los Angeles Second Language Research Forum (1st, Los Angeles, California, February 11-13, 1977).
Lindholm, Kathryn J.; Padilla, Amado M.
The linguistic interactions in the speech of bilingual children is systematically examined to determine their ability to differentiate between their two language systems. The speech samples of eighteen bilingual (Spanish-English) children aged two to six were examined for instances of deviation from the norms of the language of utterance due to familiarity with more than one language. Language mixing within a sentence boundary ("Yo tengo un car,""I have a car") and phrasal interaction ("I ask him que yo voy a casa," I asked him if I should go home) are considered. Language switching at the sentence boundary (e.g., Experimenter: "What are you doing?" Child: Estoy jugando con mis juguetes") is also discussed. Tabulated statistics reveal the breakdown of the linguistic interactions. Only 1.7% of the children's speech contains language mixing, usually the insertion of an English noun into a Spanish environment. That the children are conscious of the mixing is evident from its consistency. Language switching accounted for only 1% of the children's speech. Children appear to mix and switch for three reasons: (1) to test or mock the experimenter, (2) because the child momentarily forgets the correct word, or (3) the mixed word was more salient in the child's environment. (PMJ)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: One of several papers presented at the Los Angeles Second Language Forum.