General programme, activity sheet

Thursday 8 September, 2016 Poster
Intersentential Switching in Malayalam-English Bilingual Children
Authors: Aparna Venugopal, Jayashree. C. Shanbal


Research has indicated that during the acquisition of languages in bilingual children, there are possibilities of interference between the two languages which are characterized as code switching behaviors. Malayalam is considered one among the Dravidian languages which has relative flexibility in word order (Mohanan, 1982). The current study aimed to understand the influence of English on Malayalam in Malayalam-English (M-E) successive bilingual children. Sixty children in the age range of 6-8 years (thirty children each in the age group of 6-7 years and 7-8 years) who were native speakers of Malayalam (L1) and learnt English as the second language (L2) participated in the study. A narrative sample was obtained from the children using a picture description task. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of the obtained samples were carried out. The qualitative analysis revealed that M-E bilingual children switched from their L1 (Malayalam) to L2 (English). Hence Malayalam was considered as the Matrix Language (ML) and English was considered as the Embedded Language (EL) for further analysis using Matrix Language Frame (MLF) model (Myers-Scotton & Jake, 2000). Both qualitative and quantitative analysis indicated a pattern of development in the acquisition of bilingualism in the age range of 6-8 years. From the current study it was found that ML Islands, borrowed forms (i.e., nouns and verbs from English) and revisions were greater in the age group of 7-8 years and other parameters such as ML+EL constituents, EL Insertions were greater in the younger 6-7 years bilingual children. Also, increased ML+EL constituents, EL Insertions in 6-7 years bilingual children indicated increased intrasentential switching in the younger age group. The absence of EL islands and ML shifts indicates absence of intersentential code switching in both the age groups. Thus the study contributes to understanding classic code switching behaviors using MLF model.
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Coffee break and poster session
Place: Hall First floor area A

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