Grammatical and socio-pragmatic aspects of conversational code switching by Afrikaans-English bilingual children

Nel, Joanine Hester (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2012-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The study reported in this thesis investigates the grammatical and socio-pragmatic characteristics of the conversational code switching (CS) of three Afrikaans-English bilingual children. The study was conducted by analysing spontaneous conversational CS, elicited during multiple play sessions. Three eight year old Afrikaans-English bilingual boys from Paarl in the Western Cape, with varying language backgrounds, participated in the study. Unstructured play sessions were audio and video recorded and transcribed. All three participants took part in one triadic conversational play session and in two dyadic play sessions. The thesis differentiates between the phenomenon of CS and related sociolinguistic phenomena such as borrowing and interference in order to facilitate a clearer classification of the different types of CS. The identification of the matrix language under the asymmetry principle is done by means of a quantitative analysis, while the grammatical characteristics of the children’s CS are qualitatively evaluated under Myers-Scotton’s Matrix Language Frame and 4-M models. The socio-pragmatic characteristics of the children’s use of intersentential CS are qualitatively evaluated by means of Conversation Analysis, in which the emphasis falls on turn taking and adjacency pair sequences as well as the negotiation of power relations. The study also aims to contribute towards a better understanding of children’s CS, not only in terms of insights into how CS manifests on the surface level of language production, but also in terms of why CS occurs on a deeper language processing and competence level. The general reasons for which the different types of CS occur, and the examination of which grammatical and/or socio-pragmatic difficulties may drive children to use specific types of CS are investigated, while also considering whether the context and the hidden meaning of an utterance have an influence on how and why CS takes place, and where each type of CS occurs. The study reveals that, in terms of characterising the types of CS that occur in the data, all four conversations provided proof of extrasentential, intrasentential and intersentential CS. A preference was observed for intrasentential single code switched forms and for intersentential CS, which occurs due to the negotiation of context, topic and theme. Such negotiation primarily occurs due to combinations and sequences of talk, self-talk, interaction, conversation, narration and role play. Although all types of CS occurred within the data in both Afrikaans and English forms, Afrikaans was identified as the matrix language of the corpus and the majority of the conversations. The asymmetrical occurrence of different morpheme types provides evidence for the two-system hypothesis, namely that Afrikaans and English occur as two different systems within the children’s brains and that language processing occurs by means of the allocation of different morphemes from both languages at the lexical and formulator level to produce language.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die studie wat in hierdie tesis gerapporteer word analiseer die grammatikale en sosiopragmatiese eienskappe van gespreks-kodewisseling by drie Afrikaans-Engelse tweetalige kinders. Die studie is uitgevoer deur spontane gespreks-kodewisseling, wat tydens veelvuldige speelsessies voortgebring is, te evalueer. Drie agt-jarige Afrikaans-Engelse seuns wat van die Paarl, in die Wes-Kaap, afkomstig is en verskillende taalagtergronde het, het aan die studie deelgeneem. Klank- en video-opnames is van die ongestruktureerde speelsessies gemaak en getranskribeer. Al drie seuns het aan een drietallige speelsessie asook twee tweetallige speelsessies deelgeneem. Die tesis onderskei tussen die fenomeen van kodewisseling en ander verwante sosiolingu stiese fenomene soos leenwoorde en taalkundige inmenging om klaarheid gedurende die klassifisering van die verskillende tipes kodewisseling te verskaf. Die identifisering van die matrikstaal van die korpus is deur middel van ’n kwantitatiewe analise volgens die asimmetriese beginsel geïdentifiseer. Die grammatikale eienskappe van die kinders se kodewisseling word kwalitatief deur middel van Myers-Scotton se Matrikstaal Raam en 4-M modelle ge valueer. Die sosio-pragmatiese eienskappe van die kinders se gebruik van intersententiële kodewisseling word kwalitatief ge valueer deur middel van gespreksanalise, waar die afwisseling van gespreksbeurte, die opeenvolging van aangrensende pare asook die onderhandeling van magsverhoudings tussen deelnemers beklemtoon word. Die studie beoog enersyds om by te dra tot 'n beter begrip van kinders se oppervlakkige taalproduksie in terme van kodewisseling en andersyds om beter insig te verkry in hoe kodewisseling op ’n dieper taalprosesserings- en taalkompetensie vlak plaasvind. Die algemene rede(s) vir die voorkoms van verskillende tipes kodewisseling, asook die ondersoek na watter grammatikale of sosio-pragmatiese moeilikhede verantwoordelik mag wees vir die tipes kodewisseling wat voorkom by kinders, word beklemtoon. Daar word ook in ag geneem of die konteks en weggesteekte betekenis van ’n uiting ’n invloed het op hoe en waarom asook waar kodewisseling sal plaasvind. Die studie toon dat, in terme van die karakterisering van verskillende tipes kodewisseling wat in die data voorkom, alle gesprekssessies bewyse van ekstrasentensiële, intrasentensiële en intersentensiële kodewisseling bevat. ’n Voorkeur vir intrasentensiële enkelwoordkodewisselingsvorms is opgemerk, asook ’n voorkeur vir intersentensiële kodewisseling wat plaasvind as gevolg van die onderhandeling tussen konteks, tema en onderwerp. Sulke onderhandeling is primêr gegrond op kombinasies en opeenvolging wat voorkom deur middel van praat, self-gerigte praat, interaksie, gespreksvoering, vertelling en rolspel. Alhoewel alle tipes kodewisseling in die data voorkom in beide Afrikaanse en Engelse vorms, is Afrikaans as die matrikstaal vir die korpus asook die meerderheid van die gesprekssessies ge dentifiseer. Die oneweredige voorkoms van verskillende morfeemtipes dien as ondersteuning vir die twee-sisteem hipotese wat aanvoer dat Afrikaans en Engels as twee aparte sisteme in ’n kind se brein voorkom en dat taalprosessering geskied deur middel van die toekenning van verskillende morfeme van beide tale op die leksikale en formuleringsvlakke van taalproduksie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20030
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