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Title: The acquisition of English and Mandarin by a Singaporean child in a trilingual home
Authors: Teo, Jennifer Lay Heong.
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Education::Language and education
Issue Date: 1998
Abstract: This study investigated patterns of acquisition of English and Mandarin by a Singaporean child who has been raised in a code-switching type of speech environment. The relation of code-switching to the acquisition of bilingualism was analyzed too. The speech of the subject, a 23-month-old boy in a middle class trilingual family, was recorded.and analyzed for seven months. Results indicate that: (1)the absence of tense and number markers in the English data was due to the variety of Singapore Colloquial English the child was exposed to in his environment; (2)the use of pragmatic particles and the lack of clear developmental pattern in the English interrogatives were linked to the Singapore Colloquial English usage in the input; (3)the English-language acquisition pattern shows a similar pattern as those in other comparable studies done in Singapore; (4)the order of the grammatical morphemes in the Mandarin data follows the similar pattern as other monolingual children reported on; (5)code-switching and code-mixing were directly affected by social factors: interlocutor, norm of the speech situation and his language dominance; (6)code-switching also occurs for many reasons related to language use; and (7)the child language development has been affected by the varying amount of input. The study concluded that code-switching did not lead to any negative consequences, but on the contrary, seems to be the only viable means of developing bilingualism in Singapore, where multilingualism is a norm and code-switching is an integral part of the single complex culture.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:NIE Theses

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