O'Reilly logo

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, 2nd Edition by William C. Ritchie, Tej K. Bhatia

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

15 

Social and Psychological Factors in Language Mixing

WILLIAM C. RITCHIE AND TEJ K. BHATIA

Introduction

Preliminary Remarks

Any unified treatment of the bilingual’s capacity for language use has to account for two fundamental aspects of bilingual linguistic competency: language separation and language integration. It is often observed that bilinguals can switch from one language to another with as much ease and competence as a driver of a stick-shift car changes gear under appropriate conditions. Although this bilingual behavior has been the subject of linguistic investigation for quite some time, general attitudes toward language-mixing have often been based on fundamental misconceptions about these two aspects of bilingual linguistic competency. This chapter focuses on the following four questions concerning bilingual verbal behavior:

  • Is language-mixing or -switching a random phenomenon?
  • If it is not, what motivates bilinguals to mix and alternate two languages?
  • What is the social evaluation of this mixing and alternation?
  • What is the perception of bilinguals themselves about their language mixing?

(The question of the grammar of mixing and switching , as opposed to its motivation, is addressed in MacSwan in this volume, chapter 13.)

Definitions of Code-Mixing and Code-Switching, Borrowing, and Other Related Phenomenon

A distinction has often been made in the research literature between code-switching and code-mixing. We will use these terms as follows:

  • Code-switching: We use ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required