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Overlap in Bilingual Play: Some Implications of Code-Switching for Overlap Resolution
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Child Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2314-4942
2001 (English)In: Research on Language and Social Interaction, ISSN 0835-1813, E-ISSN 1532-7973, Vol. 34, no 4, 421-451 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper examines children's procedures for dealing with simultaneous bilingual speech as it anses in multiparty play episodes. Sequential analyses of more than 10 hr of videorecorded recess activities at an English school in Sweden revealed that children use an array of methods to minimize the overlapping passage. Erceptions to tins may be found in exchanges that are demonstrably competitive with regard to turn taking, in which participants' actions strive to gain exclusive rights to the floor, often resulting in stretched overlaps. Moreover, the sequential location of bilingual overlap onset proved relevant for its resolution: Whereas in onset paticipants would use different methods to deal with simultaneity, resulting in various outcomes of overlap negotiation, instances of overlapping turn baginnings occasioned by multiple self-selection were always resolved the same way, with the speaker diverging from the language of previous turns(s) keeping the floor. It is therefore suggested that the linguistic contrast arising with the code-switch may enhance second speakers' chances to acquire the floor and that the effectiveness of this "turn security device" is strongly dependent on its sequential placement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 34, no 4, 421-451 p.
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-34392DOI: 10.1207/S15327973RLSI3404_02Local ID: 21400OAI: diva2:255240
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2015-09-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Code-switching for all practical purposes: Bilingual organization of children's play
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Code-switching for all practical purposes: Bilingual organization of children's play
2000 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study examines bilingual children's code-switching practices as they occur in multiparty play activities in an English school in Sweden. By focusing on the endogenous organization of play events, the study contributes to our understanding of bilingualism as both resource for and result of children's social conduct. The central questions are: what is the role of bilingual practices in children's mundane reflexive production of social order, and, specifically, what sort of interactional work may be accomplished through code-switching?

Interpretive analyses of naturally occurring play episodes were conducted, broadly along the lines of interaction and conversation analytic research. The empirical data comprise over 20 hours of audio- and video-recorded play, taking place during recess. The analyses draw upon previous work on language alternation, which focuses on members' procedures for accomplishing locally meaningful interaction in bilingual conversation (Auer, 1984; Gumperz, 1982).

The results are reported in four empirical studies, highlighting the following features: The children did not make use of a specialized play language. Rather, both English and Swedish were commonly spoken during recess activities. Further, the children's choice of language was locally sensitive and guided by a general preference for same language talk. In light of this preference, the linguistic contrast arising with code-switching served to contextualize children's actions. More specifically, the empirical studies demonstrate (i) how code-switching may be used to facilitate children's entry into ongoing play; (ii) how it may serve to bring about a shift in conversational footing; (iii) to highlight the oppositional nature of certain actions within dispute exchanges, and finally, (iv) to enhance, in certain sequential locations, children's competitive bids for the conversational floor.

The present approach diverges from the monolingual perspective traditionally adopted in research on bilingualism, as well as the commonplace conceptualization of bilingualism as, above all, an aspect of the individual mind. Instead, bilingualism is viewed as a set of contingent practices within joint activities in play. Thus, the present study highlights the socially distributed nature of bilingualism, managed and accomplished within interactional exchanges.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2000. 131 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 223
Childhood bilingualism; Code-switching; Play dialogues; Social interaction
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-24373 (URN)6465 (Local ID)91-7219-883-4 (ISBN)6465 (Archive number)6465 (OAI)
Public defence
2000-12-15, Sal Key 1, Hus Key, Universitetsområdet Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-07 Created: 2009-10-07 Last updated: 2015-09-22Bibliographically approved

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Cromdal, Jakob
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