ERIC Number: ED385137
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Language Choice and Code-Switching in a Young Bilingual Child.
Deuchar, Margaret; Quay, Suzanne
This paper addresses bilingual children's speech in relation to data from a case study of a child in Wales acquiring English and Spanish between the ages of 1 and 3 years to establish how language choice and code-switching can be recognized in young children. Data is reviewed from the one-word stage, the early two-word combination, and the multi-word combination stages. It is suggested that contextually appropriate language choice is possible at the one-word stage, that choices between content and function involve more content than function in the two-word stage, and that mixed language utterances in the multi-word stage may represent adult-like examples of code-switching. Overall, it is strongly recommended that a child's linguistic repertoire must be considered at all three stages to determine final language choice. It is concluded that both language choice and code-switching are dependent on a developing bilingual's linguistic resources; language choice cannot take place until there is equivalence between lexical items and alternative grammars in the languages for the child to be better able to choose between them. (Contains three references.) (NAV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Sociolinguistics Symposium (10th, Lancaster, England, United Kingdom, March 1994).