Bilinguals vs. Monolinguals

Thomas E Payne tpayne at OREGON.UOREGON.EDU
Wed Mar 6 20:14:30 UTC 1996

The following extract from a message from Barbara Zurer Pearson that
appeared on Linguist intrigued me and I was wondering if anyone on Funknet
would be interested in discussing it:

> My second question concerned what makes monolinguals' Spanish "more
> Spanish" than bilinguals'.  This must be too self-evident to provoke
> reaction.  I got only two responses.  Robert Port <port at>
> or <port at> wrote to warn me to avoid bilinguals if I were
> doing cross- linguistic study.  At least in phonology, he said,
> there's plenty of research to show that bilinguals are different from
> monolinguals.

What intrigues me about this idea is that the language of monolinguals
may be significantly different from that of bilinguals. This "rings true"
to me, and I wonder what impications this might have for those of us who
do descriptive linguistics, much of which is done with bilinguals. Has
there been any research specifically in this area? Has anyone out there
thought about this?

Thanks for any responses.

Tom Payne

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