Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Bilingual parents' modeling of pragmatic language use in multiparty interactions

  • MEDHA TARE (a1) and SUSAN A. GELMAN (a2)

Abstract

Parental input represents an important source of language socialization. Particularly in bilingual contexts, parents may model pragmatic language use and metalinguistic strategies to highlight language differences. The present study examines multiparty interactions involving 28 bilingual English- and Marathi-speaking parent–child pairs in the presence of monolingual bystanders (children's mean ages = 3 years, 2 months and 4 years, 6 months). Their language use was analyzed during three sessions: parent and child alone, parent and child with the English speaker, and parent and child with the Marathi speaker. Parents demonstrated pragmatic differentiation by using relatively more of the bystander's language; however, children did not show this sensitivity. Further, parents used a variety of strategies to discuss language differences, such as providing and requesting translations; children translated most often in response to explicit requests. The results indicate that parents model pragmatic language differentiation as well as metalinguistic talk that may contribute to children's metalinguistic awareness.

Copyright

Corresponding author

ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE Medha Tare, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 400400, Charlottesville, VA 22904. E-mail: mtare@umich.edu

References

Hide All
Akhtar, N. (2005). The robustness of learning through overhearing. Developmental Science, 8, 199209.
Au, T., & Glusman, M. (1990). The principle of mutual exclusivity in word learning: To honor or not to honor? Child Development, 61, 14741490.
Bell, A. (1984). Language style as audience design. Language in Society, 13, 145204.
Bialystok, E. (1988). Levels of bilingualism and levels of linguistic awareness. Developmental Psychology, 24, 560567.
Bialystok, E. (2001). Bilingualism in development: Language, literacy, and cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Callanan, M. A., & Sabbagh, M. A. (2004). Multiple labels for objects in conversations with young children: Parents’ language and children's developing expectations about word meanings. Developmental Psychology, 40, 746763.
Carlson, S. M., & Meltzoff, A. N. (2008). Bilingual experience and executive functioning in young children. Developmental Science, 11, 282298.
Comeau, L., & Genesee, F. (2001). Bilingual children's repair strategies during dyadic communication. In Cenoz, J. & Genesee, F. (Eds.), Trends in bilingual acquisition (pp. 229256). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Comeau, L., Genesee, F., & Lapaquette, L. (2003). The modeling hypothesis and child bilingual codemixing. International Journal of Bilingualism, 7, 113126.
Comeau, L., Genesee, F., & Mendelson, M. (2007). Bilingual children's repairs of breakdowns in communication. Journal of Child Language, 34, 159174.
Cummins, J. (1978). Bilingualism and the development of metalinguistic awareness. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 9, 131149.
De Houwer, A. (1990). The acquisition of two languages: A case study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
De Houwer, A. 2009. Bilingual first language acquisition. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Deuchar, M., & Quay, S. (1999). Language choice in the earliest utterances: A case study with methodological implications. Journal of Child Language, 26, 461475.
Diesendruck, G. (2005). The principles of conventionality and contrast in word learning: An empirical examination. Developmental Psychology, 41, 451463.
Fenson, L., Dale, P. S., Reznick, J. S., Bates, E., Thal, D. J., & Pethick, S. J. (1994). Variability in early communicative development. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 59(5, Serial No. 42), 1–173.
Fishman, J. A. (1991). Reversing language shift: Theoretical and empirical foundations of assistance to threatened languages. Clevedon: Multilingual Mattters.
Galambos, S. J., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (1990). The effects of learning two languages on levels of metalinguistic awareness. Cognition, 34, 156.
Genesee, F., Boivin, I., & Nicoladis, E. (1996). Talking with strangers: A study of bilingual children's communicative competence. Applied Psycholinguistics, 17, 427442.
Hakuta, K., & D'Andrea, D. (1992). Some properties of bilingual maintenance and loss in Mexican background high-school students. Applied Linguistics, 13, 7299.
Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (1992). American parenting of language-learning children: Persisting differences in family–child interactions observed in natural home environments. Developmental Psychology, 28, 10961105.
Huttenlocher, J., Vasilyeva, M., Cymerman, E., & Levine, S. (2002). Language input and child syntax. Cognitive Psychology, 45, 337374.
Ianco-Worrall, A. (1972). Bilingualism and cognitive development. Child Development, 43, 13901400.
Kasuya, H. (1998). Determinants of language choice in bilingual children: The role of input. International Journal of Bilingualism, 2, 327346.
Kasuya, H. (2002). Bilingual context for language development. In Blum-Kulka, S. & Snow, C. E. (Eds.), Talking to adults: The contribution of multiparty discourse to language acquisition (pp. 295326). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Koppe, R., & Meisel, J. M. (1995). Code-switching in bilingual first language acquisition. In Milroy, L. & Muysken, P. (Eds.), One speaker, two languages: Cross-disciplinary perspectives on code-switching (pp. 276301). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lanza, E. (2001). Bilingual first language acquisition: A discourse perspective on language contact in parent–child interaction. In Cenoz, J. & Genesee, F. (Eds.), Trends in bilingual acquisition (pp. 201230). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Lanza, E. (2007). Multilingualism and the family. In Auer, P. & Wei, L. (Eds.), Handbook of multilingualism and multilingual communication (pp. 4567). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
MacWhinney, B., & Snow, C. (1990). The child language data exchange system: An update. Journal of Child Language, 17, 457472.
Malakoff, M., & Hakuta, K. (1991). Translation skill and metalinguistic awareness in bilinguals. In Bialystok, E. (Ed.), Language processing in bilingual children (pp. 141166). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Montanari, S. (2009). Pragmatic differentiation in early trilingual development. Journal of Child Language, 36, 597627.
Muysken, P. (2000). Bilingual speech. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Muysken, P., Kook, H., & Vedder, P. (1996). Papiamento/Dutch code-switching in bilingual parent–child reading. Applied Psycholinguistics, 17, 485505.
Nicoladis, E., & Genesee, F. (1996). A longitudinal study of pragmatic differentiation in young bilingual children. Language Learning, 46, 439464.
Pan, B. A. (1995). Code negotiation in bilingual families: “My body starts speaking English.” Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 16, 315327.
Pearson, B. Z. (2007). Social factors in childhood bilingualism in the United States. Applied Psycholinguistics, 28, 399410.
Perez-Bazan, M. J. (2002, October). Family matters: Determiners of language choice in early bilingual development. Paper presented at the Second University of Vigo International Symposium on Bilingualism, Galicia, Spain.
Quay, S. (2008). Dinner conversations with a trilingual two-year-old: Language socialization in a multilingual context. First Language, 28, 533.
Rosenblum, T., & Pinker, S. A. (1983). Word magic revisited: Monolingual and bilingual children's understanding of the word–object relationship. Child Development, 54, 773780.
Siegal, M., Iozzi, L., & Surian, L. (2009). Bilingualism and conversational understanding in young children. Cognition, 110, 115122.
Snow, C. E., & Ferguson, C. A. (1977). Talking to children: Language input and acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Tare, M., & Gelman, S. A. (2010). Can you say it another way? Cognitive factors in bilingual children's pragmatic language skills. Journal of Cognition and Development, 11, 137158.
Vedder, P., Kook, H., & Muysken, P. (1996). Language choice and functional differentiation of languages in bilingual parent–child reading. Applied Psycholinguistics, 17, 461484.
Wali, K. (2005). Marathi. Munich: LINCOM GmbH.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Applied Psycholinguistics
  • ISSN: 0142-7164
  • EISSN: 1469-1817
  • URL: /core/journals/applied-psycholinguistics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed