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A Case Study of Kurdish-German Pre-school Bilingual Children


Baban Mohamed

The state of acquiring more than one language as a child or an adult is not the exception; it is rather an everyday reality for a quite substantial part of today’s society. This book explores the phenomenon of code-switching within the field of child bilingualism from both linguistic and sociolinguistic perspectives. Based on collected data from Kurdish-German pre-school bilingual children in Austria, this empirical study aims at giving an analysis of linguistic and extra-linguistic factors that constrain child code-switching. The book shows specific interest in practices of code switching and mixing as displayed by Kurdish subjects of the study and in how far these can be sufficiently explained by existing models of (adult) bilingual language behavior. The results clearly show that code-switching can be related to the identity and characteristics of the speakers or to aspects of their social life, and that it can be subconsciously used to manage conflict when different languages are associated with different roles in a community.
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8. Kurdish-German intrasentential CS: data and analysis


In this section a general description of the collected data is presented. The data is being categorized so as to point out the total amount of intrasentential types of CS. In categorizing intrasentential switches, groups and grammatical categories are also formed within this differentiation. This part of data presentation provides the data that this study is mainly based on. So the following sections will be devoted to discuss and analyse Kurdish-German intrasentential CS; grammatical constraints and the application of the Matrix Language Frame (MLF) Model will be tested on the data.

8.1. What is not accounted as CS

In the transcriptions of the recorded data some other related linguistic phenomena of language contact could be observed that are not regarded as cases of CS. Proper names like names of places such as Donau, names of products such as shampoo, or expressions of concepts that do not exist in Kurdish such as Hausmeister were not regarded as cases of CS.

Some English items, such as talafun (‘telephone’), occur in the data that usually occur in monolingual Kurdish. These words, too, were excluded from the CS data and are not regarded as switched words, since such items are identified as syntactic and morphological parts of the recipient-language fragments in which they are embedded. Such English items have been assimilated into the grammatical system of Kurdish, as illustrated in (45) from the data of this study.

Ex. 45

In (45) the...

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