Re: [code-switching] Re:Hear one, respond in other, happily converse
- If "receptive bilingualism" is preferred over "passive bilingualism" it
extends the notion of bilingualism from that of highly-developed active
skills in a language to minimal or non-existent active skill or
proficiency, IMHO. I have had students in my classes who claim to
understand everything said to them by their parents speaking Yoruba,
Cantonese, or whatever, but claim to have no active ability in the
language whatsoever. I agree that passive cognition of another language is
not nothing, and I assume that if/when these students were to actively
study their parents' mother tongues, they'd rely on this passive cognition
and be able to learn active skills more readily and rapidly than rank
So if it's specialists in language learning who are unhappy with "passive
bilingualism", why do they get to call the shots? There are other issues,
such as (as you mention) the type of discourse that results.
On Wed, 28 Feb 2007, ianlwilson wrote:
> According to Baetens Beardsmore (1986) "Bilingualism: Basic principles
> (2nd edition)", the term "receptive bilingualism" is preferred over
> "passive bilingualism". The latter term "is not favoured by specialists
> involved in language learning because it is felt that any language
> decoding activity implies active neurological processes" (p.16). At any
> rate, these terms (including "mutual passive bilingualism") seem to
> describe a person's/people's bilingual ability, not the type of
> discourse that results.
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Harold F. Schiffman" <haroldfs@...> wrote:
> > If this is the preferred term, where did I get "mutual passive
> > bilingualism?" It's true that if I google this term, some of my own web
> > pages come up near the top, but there are other, older ones that seem to
> > have used it earlier. Is the term passe?
> > Hal Schiffman
> > On Mon, 26 Feb 2007, Ian Wilson wrote:
> > > Sorry for responding so late to this thread. I don't check the list
> > > very often but just noticed the question now. I believe the term for
> > > this phenomenon is "dilingual discourse". Carolyn Johnson and I used
> > > the term in our 2002 IJB paper ("Phonetic evidence for early language
> > > differentiation: Research issues and some preliminary data".
> > > International Journal of Bilingualism 6: 271-289). At that time, we
> > > didn't know the term had been used before by Saville-Troike in her
> > > 1987 Linguistics paper ("Dilingual discourse: The negotiation of
> > > meaning without a common code". Linguistics 25: 81-106).
> > >
> > > Note, however, that the term "dilingual" is not very common. A Google
> > > search on the word yields only about 100 websites that contain it.
> > > Compare that to the word "bilingual", which yields 26,000,000 websites!
> > >
> > > Sincerely,
> > > Ian Wilson
> > > University of Aizu
> > > <http://www.u-aizu.ac.jp/~wilson>
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