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ERIC Number: EJ880797
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 85
ISSN: ISSN-1479-0718
Dual and Multilanguage Systems
Kecskes, Istvan
International Journal of Multilingualism, v7 n2 p91-109 May 2010
Since "multicompetence" was proposed by Cook, there have been debates about the nature of distinction between monocompetence and multicompetence, the distinctiveness of languages in the mind and the homogeneity of language knowledge across speakers and contexts. The paper will address these issues from a linguistic perspective and make an attempt to define multicompetence. The paper claims that trends in linguistics have affected bi and multilingualism research either directly or indirectly. Consequently, in order for us to understand approaches to multicompetence we should review the latest changes in linguistics research. All debates about multicompetence boil down to three major issues: (1) The interplay of the linguistic level and conceptual level in multilingual development and language use, (2) nature of difference (qualitative or quantitative or both) between monocompetence and multicompetence and (3) methods of analysing differences between monocompetence and multicompetence. Addressing these issues I will argue that there is not only quantitative but also qualitative difference between monolinguals and multilinguals, which is reflected mainly in the nature and organisation of knowledge in the multilingual mind. I will also argue that it would be a mistake to overemphasise the role of usage in multilingual development. Language is both structure and usage. Both are equally important: structure develops as a result of usage and structure serves as one of the underlying factors of usage. "Community practices" exist within and across languages so they cannot substitute what we understand by "language". In the first part of the paper I discuss the relationship between current trends in linguistics research and approaches to multicompetence. In the second part I have taken a stand on the major issues of the debate about multicompetence.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A