Fri Mar 8 18:03:08 UTC 1996

It seems to me that in the protracted discussion on the subject
the morst basic, pervasive and universal case of biligualism
(or indeed multi-lingualism) seems to have been largely ignored.
I refer here to the multilingualism (or "di-glossia") arisig
through the process of child "first-labguage" acuisition, and
later extended by the acquisition of literacy. If anything is
apparent from the data presented to us (by fellow functiobnalist)
over the last 30 years, it is that children learn, in succession,
many communicative systems -- sensory-motor communication (first
year; Dore 1976), the one-word stage (early second year; Bloom 1970),
the pidgin stage (also called the two-word stage; late second year;
Bloom. Slobin, Bowerman etc.), and "the" spoken grammaticalize
language (starting around age 2.0). Thus, by the time the child
comes to school s/he is already an experienced communicator in
FOUR languages (or "varieties" of their native language). Add
literate grammar to that (profoundly different from the spoken),
and the littl;e shavers are up to FIVE in their "mono" language.
If this is not profound multui-lingualism -- and those "varieties"
do not decay but can be brough back upon the appropriatge occasion,
such as pidginization, Broca's aphasia, high stress ("telegraphic")
etc -- I can't imagine what it.
Y'all relax, you're not as disadvantaged as you imagined. TG

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