LINGUISTIC ASPECTS OF CODESWITCHING AMONG SPANISH/ENGLISH BILINGUAL CHILDREN (SOCIOLINGUISTICS, PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, APPLIED LINGUISTICS).
AuthorSTEPHENS, DEBORAH ANNE.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractCodeswitching between languages is a uniquely bilingual mode of communication. The purpose of this dissertation is to enhance the current body of knowledge dealing with the phenomenon by analysing samples of speech produced by twenty-six Spanish/English bilingual children ranging in age from eight to twelve. Methods of analysis include theoretical linguistics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and educational linguistics. A discussion of relevant codeswitching research covering the past thirty years is presented. The data were collected during a reading study focusing on miscue analysis. The children read stories in English and retold them in both Spanish and English. The analysis considers the data from the four previously mentioned points of view. The linguistic analysis looks at the locations of switched constituents within the sentence and the frequency with which those constituents are switched. The data of this study are compared with that of other researchers, and a consideration of a formal grammar of codeswitching is presented. The sociolinguistic analysis addresses the effect of social and stylistic variables on codeswitching. The psycholinguistic analysis of codeswitching covers lexical storage, editing phenomena, and developmental aspects. Finally, some aspects of the education of bilinguals are considered by analysing the effect of the printed word on language switching and dialect shifting . The application of the results of the analysis to both theoretical issues and practical concerns is explored along with suggested areas for future research. The analyses show that young children's codeswitching initially favors less complex structures and is influenced by few social variables. As they grow older, they become more comfortable with switching grammatically complex structures, and they become aware of a greater variety of social factors. A separate grammar is not necessary for a complete description of codeswitching; a modified interdependance model of the two grammars can account for the codeswitching mode. Lastly, the written language becomes part of the speech situation in the classroom and affects the choice of language or dialect spoken.