Code-Switching Patterns in Infant Bilingualism: A Case Study of an Egyptian Arabic-English-Speaking Four-Year-Old Bilingual Child
AdvisorMoll, Luis C.
Committee ChairMoll, Luis C.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this sociolinguistic case study is to analyze the language processes and speech patterns of code-switching of an Egyptian Arabic-English-speaking three-year-old girl named Sara. Sara, who is the daughter of the study's author, has been exposed to and has learned both languages simultaneously since she was nine months old. Family composition played an immense role in the language the parents used with their child and the language the child chose to speak. Sara's parents spoke to her in Arabic since she was born; thus, a one-language household model was used. At the age of nine months, Sara started to attend day care and was exposed to English for the first time. The integral role of the environmental influences of the English language were considered and examined with regard to Sara's language choices within the framework of family gatherings, community settings/activities, and recreation/leisure activities, and the positive influence of these contexts was assessed.Sara facilitated her natural communicative abilities by code-switching lexical items between Arabic and English and vice versa to complete her sentences. Lexical switches including nouns, verbs, and adjectives were the most susceptible to code-switching. In addition, nouns and adjectives were code-switched more than verbs because of the incongruence in verbs between Arabic and English. Sara code-switched depending on the languague abilities of the interlocutor. However, there was no association between Sara's code-switching and the topics of conversation. It was found that the proportion of intersentential code-switching decreased over time and that of intrasentential code-switching increased during the three-year study.
Degree ProgramLanguage, Reading & Culture