Bilingualism

  • Jean-François BONNOT (Strasbourg)
    The linguistic development of bilinguals: neurophysiological aspects and the acquisition of the lexicon
    1997, Vol. II-2, pp. 71-80

    In this paper, the author describes some of the linguistic aspects of bilingual speakers' development and emphasizes particularly the cognitive data. In the first section, a number of neurophysiological mechanisms underlying language acquisition are sketched out. In the second section, some implications for the neurophysiology of bilingualism are examined. Lastly, the main trends of acquisition and processing of bilingual mental lexicon in children are put forward.


  • Guri BORDAL (Oslo, Norvège)
    The influence of the Sango tonal system on French in the Central African Republic
    2013, Vol. XVIII-2, pp. 91-102

    In this article, I present the tonal system of Central African French (CAF), which is the variety of French spoken in Bangui in the Central African Republic. The study is based on a corpus of recordings of spontaneous speech produced by twelve multilingual speakers, using mainly the African language Sango and French in their every-day communication. I show that the tonal system of CAF is to a great extent influenced by the phonological system of Sango.


  • Antoinette CAMILLERI GRIMA (Malta)
    Challenging code-switching in Malta
    2013, Vol. XVIII-2, pp. 45-61

    This contribution highlights certain phenomena of language contact that are particularly relevant to the fully bilingual context of Malta. It seeks to illustrate how Maltese bilingual speakers utilize each of the two languages either separately or in a mixed code on a daily basis. This is a challenging reality to the general understanding of bilingual speakers, and bilingual communities who are normally not expected to know and use the two languages for the same purposes. Furthermore, in the Maltese context code-switching cannot always be explained with reference to conversational cues and/or situational and other variables. Thus it provides an interesting live context of language contact. This is elucidated here with examples from different social domains, focusing particularly on language choice and code-switching in both the written and spoken modes of communication.


  • Helen ENGEMANN (Goethe-University Frankfurt)
    Learning to think for speaking about space in child bilingualism
    2016, Vol. XXI-2, pp. 49-64

    An unresolved question in early child bilingualism research concerns the extent to which the acquisition of semantic and conceptual domains is affected by age of onset. This paper compares how reference to caused motion events (Talmy 2000) is acquired in French by early successive and simultaneous bilingual children. Elicited event verbalizations reveal that both bilingual groups diverge considerably from monolingual children and manifest response tendencies mid-way between English and French monolinguals. The effect of age of onset is outweighed by language-specific factors that give rise to convergence strategies. This result is argued to be motivated by the lack of transparency associated with the French system and the partial overlap with English.


  • L. GOURY (IRD-Cayenne)
    Bilingual mediators in French Guyana
    2000, Vol. V-1, pp. 43-60

    French Guyana is characterized by its cultural and linguistic diversity, which, in educational circles, is often considered as an obstacle to development. In the light of experiments in bilingual education conducted in neighboring Brazil, a similar project has been set up in French Guyana. It aims at providing school teachers with bilingual 'mediators', generally umemployed youngsters, who are able to address the pupils in their various native languages and to help them acquiring a second language. In order to assist these 'bilingual mediators' in their new tasks the project aims at giving them a proper linguistic and pedagogical education.


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  • Jonas GRANFELDT (Lund University)
    On the respective roles of age, input and the L1 in the development of French by childs L2 learners
    2016, Vol. XXI-2, pp. 33-48

    In this paper we summarize the main results from a project on Age of onset of acquisition (AoA) and linguistic development in French by child L2 learners (L1 Swedish) where AoA varies between 3;5 years and 6;5 years. The results for several grammatical structures are presented, finiteness, object pronouns, gender, subject-verb agreement and past tense forms. The results show a development which sometimes resembles that of adult L2 learners and sometimes that of bilingual or monolingual children. Against Meisel (2008) we conclude that AOA cannot in itself explain all of the results. Our conclusion rather points to a development influenced by a number of different factors, including the level of development of the L1, properties of the target structures and input.


  • François GROSJEAN (Université de Neuchâtel)
    Being bilingual today
    2018, Vol. XXIII-2, pp. 7-14

    This short article begins with why it is that people are bilingual as well as the myths that surround bilingualism. The first part deals with the bilingual person and includes the following topics: the definition of bilingualism, the Complementarity Principle, the wax and wane of languages in the bilingual, the language modes bilinguals find themselves in, interference and bilingual speech, as well as biculturalism. In the second part, dedicated to the bilingual child, the following are discussed: why it is that children become bilingual, what characterizes simultaneous and successive bilingualism, speech production in bilingual children, and the effects of bilingualism.


  • Jean PETIT (Orléans)
    Evaluating bilingualism at school
    1996, Vol. I-1, pp. 95-106

    The following text is a report written in 1994 by a member of a commission charged with evaluating an experiment with bilingual teaching in a number of Alsatian schools, which was initiated by the "Association pour le Bilinguisme en Classe dès la Maternelle" (Association for Early Bilingual Teaching). But, beyond the evaluation of a particular experiment, the report presents itself as a balance of and a reflection on issues that are of interest for both researchers and citizens in many European countries.Considering their importance, the explantory notes that accompany this article have been put deliberately at the end of the text.


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  • Frida SPLENDIDO (Lund University)
    Phonetic-phonological development of early second language French Support for a child second language (cL2) mode of acquisition in phonology
    2016, Vol. XXI-2, pp. 19-32

    This multiple case study focuses on phonetic-phonological development of L2 French in early Swedish-speaking learners. More specifically it describes the development of Voice Onset Time (VOT) and liaison in early L2 learners as compared to simultaneous Swedish-French bilinguals and monolingual French children. The results indicate that although the L2 learners present initial similarities with adult L2 learners, more advanced productions resemble those of simultaneous bilinguals. The data from this multiple case study thus appear to support the idea of a cL2 mode of acquisition also in the domain of phonology.


  • Guillaume THIERRY (Bangor University (UK))
    Non selective lexical access in early bilinguals
    2012, Vol. XVII-2, pp. 33-48

    It is now widely accepted that lexical access is language non-selective in bilinguals. However, in the domain of syntax, it is much less clear whether such non-selectivity applies. Observational production studies have highlighted many instances of syntactic borrowing between languages in bilingual children and such borrowings tend to remain in adulthood. In the present study, we have tested for the first time whether such syntactic co-activation effects also exist in comprehension, in the case of early fluent bilinguals. We used event-related potentials in conjunction with a binary decision paradigm known to elicit modulations of the N2 component to show that Welsh-English bilingual participants are prepared to accept an adjective in post-nominal position in an English sentence despite the fact such word order is illegal in English. This effect, which was not found in English monolingual participants, can be interpreted as the consequence of Welsh grammar activation because the adjective is in post-nominal position in Welsh. Our results allow us to conclude that syntactic activation is language non-selective during reading in early bilinguals.