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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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10. Functional factors on Kurdish-German CS


10.1. Data classification

In this section the data will be classified according to the interlocutors and their choice of language. This kind of data-classification will help to analyse the functional factors on the CS data of this study.

In table 2, the data is categorised according to language choice by counting the number of turns of each involved codes, namely Kurdish, German and CS that occurred in the data.

The aim is to give an overview of the language choice of members of the community.

Table (2) Frequency of codes of communication

Table 2 shows the frequencies of turns of all conversations of the recordings. As can be seen in table 2, three different codes of communication, namely Kurdish, German and CS can be distinguished among the members of the community. Figure 3 shows the average number of turns of each of the three codes from the total amount of the turns that occurred in the collected data. ← 115 | 116 →

Figure 4: Average number of Kurdish, German and CS turns

As figure 4 shows, the linguistic interaction between the members of the community is either exclusively in Kurdish, which accounts for 47% of the total amount of the turns in the data, or exclusively in German (34%), or in code-switched form (19%).

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