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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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11. Conclusion


This book has presented a discussion of the linguistic and sociolinguistic research undertaken on investigating linguistic and extra linguistic factors that constrain CS. The study has started out with exploring how perspectives on and attitudes towards bilingualism and CS have changed throughout history.

In chapter 1 it was shown that the focus of studies on language acquisition has shifted from primarily being devoted to the theory of monolingual acquisition to put their equal emphasis on establishing research on bilingual acquisition as well. As has been shown, there are accounts presenting bilingual acquisition as having negative effects on children’s intellectual and spiritual growth. In addition to that, arguments were also presented for the claim that bilingualism does not harm the speech development or the general mental development of the bilingual children. A number of studies conducted on the speech of bilingual children have been presented that clearly found advantages for bilingualism and discovered that on various measures of intelligence and achievement the bilingual children perform better than the monolingual children. It was also shown that a widely accepted definition of bilingualism is very controversial and subject to much debate and disagreement. As has been shown, various definitions for bilingualism depending on different approaches have been proposed, which range from native-like competence in two languages to minimal proficiency in a second language. In addition to that, questions about the criteria on measuring the degree of bilinguals were also addressed.

Chapter 2 presented several aspects of CS....

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