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A case study on the acquisition of plurality in a bilingual Malay-English context-bound child

Mohamed Salleh, Rabiah Tul Adawiyah and Kawaguchi, Satomi and Di Biase, Bruno (2019) A case study on the acquisition of plurality in a bilingual Malay-English context-bound child. GEMA Online® Journal of Language Studies, 19 (3). pp. 22-42. ISSN 1675-8021 E-ISSN 2550-2131

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Abstract

The early development of simultaneous bilinguals has been at the core of heated controversy since the mid-seventies. The Unitary Language System Hypothesis by Volterra and Taeschner saw early development as a single language system gradually diverging into two systems. On the contrary, Meisel (1989), De Houwer (1990) and Paradis and Genesee (1996) suggested the early separation of two linguistic systems. Neither position, however, considered language environmental conditions constraining development as key variables. This paper aims to show that the predominant environmental languages to which the Malay-English bilingual child in the current study was alternately exposed might have played an important role in shaping the child’s acquisition of plurality in each language. Throughout the period of investigation (from age 3;4 to 3;10 and at 4;8) the child’s interactions were regularly audio and video recorded. The current study focuses on the development of plural marking in a simultaneous Malay-English bilingual child. Interestingly, at a point when English was environmentally predominant, the child would occasionally use the English plural suffix -s on Malay nouns. After moving back to Malaysia, the child used reduplication to mark plurals in both languages. The findings of this study indicate that the predominant linguistic environment in which the child grows and develops plays an important role in shaping the child’s language production.

Item Type: Article (Journal)
Additional Information: 8297/74475
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bilingual development; Context-bound; Language environment; Malay; English; Plural
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences
Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences > Department of English Language & Literature
Depositing User: Dr. Rabiah Tul Adawiyah Mohamed Salleh
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2019 11:41
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2019 06:33
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/74475

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