bilingualism everybody knows what bilingual means; yet…as soon as we start trying to define the...

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  • Bilingualism Everybody knows what bilingual means; yetas soon as we start trying to define the concept precisely, things get very complicated. This is not just hair splitting: if bilingualism is complex, it is because it is directly related to complex issues (Riley, 1986: 31).
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  • Four Questions What is a bilingual society? Where are they found? What are the functions of and attitudes toward languages in bilingual societies? What are some bilingual strategies?
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  • What is bilingualism?
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  • No one speaks the whole of a language Stubs to can wall penetration welds are? Injury and tort A treble top
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  • The fact that we cannot compare the same individuals abilities in two different languages is central to our discussion of bilingualism Recognizing languages as different tools There are many definitions None is satisfactory
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  • One The mastery of two or more languages bilingualism or multilingualismis a special skill. Bilingualism and multilingualism are relative terms since individuals vary greatly in types and degrees of language proficiency (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1965).
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  • Two Bilingualism is native-like control of two languagesOf course, one cannot define a degree of perfection at which a good foreign speaker becomes a bilingual: the distinction is relative (L. Bloomfield, 1933).
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  • Three Bilingualism is understoodto begin at the point where the speaker of one language can produce complete, meaningful utterances in the other language (E. Haugen, 1953)
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  • Two Issues Bilingual individuals are part of a society-- contact between speakers The relative nature of bilingualism--degrees of bilingualism
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  • Relative competence versus relative use. He speaks Swedish and Italian equally well. Versus He speaks Swedish and Italian everyday.
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  • Where can we find bilingual societies? Where there is contact between linguistic groups: ---political, economic (Examples: Mexico, USA) Historical and political changes:--- changing borders, (example: Alsace, France) Widespread bilingualism: Swahili, Tanzania
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  • Monolingual and bilingual countries Half the population Contradicts unilingualism absolute link to national and individual identity Official bilingualism does not indicate high percentage of bilinguals and vise versa. Examples: France and Tanzania versus Canada and Belgian
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  • What are the functions of and attitudes toward languages in bilingual societies? Diaglossia: (Ferguson, 1959) Refers to circumstances where each language is systematically employed in certain domains and events. --- high form and low form ----urban (Madina, Ghana) or rural (New Guinea) ---trades and occupations
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  • Example of Diaglossia: Paraguay Two languages spoken: Spanish and Guarani Choice of language determined by context
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  • Joan Rubins four contextual factors: 1. Location of interaction 2. Degree of formality 3. Degree of intimacy 4. Seriousness of discourse
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  • Decline of Indigenous languages in bilingual communities Chorti Maya (Mexico) Proximity to dominant language Political and economic factors Upward social mobility
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  • Language and historical events: Which historical events have contributed to the disappearance of north American Indigenous languages? Language transformation, changes in attitudes and practices, adjusting to other languages, overtime language shifts
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  • Power struggles and language death Equally in multicultural as well as in small- scale societies (Australia versus Yimas village) Example one: Hungarian language in Austria ---peasant life versus modern life ---positive versus negative social meanings
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  • Strategies utilized by Bilinguals Code switching and code mixing Code switching: When bilinguals integrate linguistic resources from two languages within the same discourse segment, this strategy has a number of linguistic and interactional functions
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  • Code Switching: integration of linguistic resources from two languages within the same segment to express a more precise meaning-- i.e.Mohawk:Then I woke up Sunday Morning.She turned sixty-five in July. to compensate for memory lapses. I.e. Necesito un string para la kite (I need a string for the kite)
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  • As an attention-getting device Now let me do it. Put your feet down. Mira To express social value Society hii aisii hai The society is like that.
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  • Code Mixing Is a linguistic process that incorporates material from a second language in a base language: morphological markers. To watch TV: Watchando Television
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  • Language Death Typically based on economic and political imperatives Historical reasons: overwhelming forces Central American case: colonialism and conquest Assimilative policies: North America and Australia
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  • Language death among the Arapaho English associated with power Bilingualism becomes an asset Bilingualism gives way to monolingualism Indigenous language loses prestige
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  • Other reasons for language death Being outnumbered: Normandy, Hungarian speakers of Austria Negative attitudes towards local languages Tiwa opposite example Immigration Cultural imperialism; mass media, Hollywood
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  • Summary Bilingualism is difficult to define ----depending of the purpose of the particular language use More than half of the population is bilingual ---monolingualism versus bilingualism The functions of and attitudes of languages in depend on social contexts ---diaglossia: High and low form: depend on context
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  • Discussion Question What do you think is the future of most languages in the world? What can we do to prevent the death of these languages.
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