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Syntactic mixing across generations in an environment of community-wide bilingualism


Stoll, Sabine; Zakharko, Taras; Moran, Steven; Schikowski, Robert; Bickel, Balthasar (2015). Syntactic mixing across generations in an environment of community-wide bilingualism. Frontiers in Psychology, 6:82.

Abstract

A quantitative analysis of a trans-generational, conversational corpus of Chintang (Tibeto-Burman) speakers with community-wide bilingualism in Nepali (Indo-European) reveals that children show more code-switching into Nepali than older speakers. This confirms earlier proposals in the literature that code-switching in bilingual children decreases when they gain proficiency in their dominant language, especially in vocabulary. Contradicting expectations from other studies, our corpus data also reveal that for adults, multi-word insertions of Nepali into Chintang are just as likely to undergo full syntactic integration as single-word insertions. Speakers of younger generations show less syntactic integration. We propose that this reflects a change between generations, from strongly asymmetrical, Chintang-dominated bilingualism in older generations to more balanced bilingualism where Chintang and Nepali operate as clearly separate systems in younger generations. This change is likely to have been triggered by the increase of Nepali presence over the past few decades.

A quantitative analysis of a trans-generational, conversational corpus of Chintang (Tibeto-Burman) speakers with community-wide bilingualism in Nepali (Indo-European) reveals that children show more code-switching into Nepali than older speakers. This confirms earlier proposals in the literature that code-switching in bilingual children decreases when they gain proficiency in their dominant language, especially in vocabulary. Contradicting expectations from other studies, our corpus data also reveal that for adults, multi-word insertions of Nepali into Chintang are just as likely to undergo full syntactic integration as single-word insertions. Speakers of younger generations show less syntactic integration. We propose that this reflects a change between generations, from strongly asymmetrical, Chintang-dominated bilingualism in older generations to more balanced bilingualism where Chintang and Nepali operate as clearly separate systems in younger generations. This change is likely to have been triggered by the increase of Nepali presence over the past few decades.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Comparative Linguistics
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
890 Other literatures
410 Linguistics
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:27 Feb 2015 14:17
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:07
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1664-1078
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00082
Official URL:http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00082/abstract
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-109108

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