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unitary language system hypothesis
children exposed to two languages at birth initially operate like a monolingual with a single, united language system.
- Logical Problems:
- Uncontroversial: adult bilinguals distinguish their two languages
- How do you ever differentiate two languages out of one system???
- Code-mixing: adults do it too! Are they confused?
appropriate language matching
can choose appropriate language when speaking to different people
one parent (person), one language
children speak and associate a particular language to one parent and another to another parent
one location, one language
children speak and associate one setting with a particular language, e.g. English at school, French at home
codeswitching: a chaotic practice or not?
- non-specialist = yes
- see as sign of lack of mastery of either or both languages
- prevailing ideologies of linguistic purity make it a disparaged practice in most bilingual communities
- specialists = no
- recognize as a functional practice and a sign of bilingual competence.
Evidence for language differentiation
- Appropriate language matching: can choose appropriate language when speaking to different people
- Phonological: Bilingual babies babble bilingually
- Lexical: at earliest stage, children reject cross-language
- synonyms; in second stage, begin learning translation equivalents (or 'doublets')
- Syntactic: ALL children keep syntactic systems separate for all dimensions studied
- One Parent(or Person) One Language (OPOL): children speak and associate a particular language to one parent and another to another parent