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frequency

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  • Susan Ervin-Tripp
    Yes, it is true that the type and frequency of switching is related to proficiency. The first distinction you have to make is between single word or short
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 5, 2004
      Yes, it is true that the type and frequency of switching is
      related to proficiency.

      The first distinction you have to make is between single word or
      short phrase switches and longer switches calling for syntactic
      composition.

      As you know, short English items like OK have travelled all over the
      world, and indeed are used by people who don't even speak English.

      With children, we find that the first phase in becoming bilingual involves
      what is called "insertional" items, or some people call borrowing, namely
      these short items borrowed from L2 into L1.
      They are easy to use because they do not demand
      syntactic competence in the new language. Also, many of these inserted
      items have a special semantic flavor or are semantically unique, or are likely
      to be of higher frequency in the new language than in the L1.

      The more L2 the immigrant children know,
      the more code-switching they do when left on their own in private, without
      any social pressure. In children, syntactically complex, longer
      switching primarily is for various social-conversational reasons,
      like marking topic change or situation change, emphasis, clarification.

      Susan Ervin-Tripp


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      Susan M. Ervin-Tripp tel (510) 642-5292* (msgs)
      Professor Emeritus FAX (510) 642-5293
      Psychology Department ervintrp@...
      University of California http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~ervintrp/
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