Language choice adjustments in child production during dyadic and multiparty interactions: A quantitative approach to multilingual interactions

Abstract : This paper aims to document two adjustment types motivating code choices in early production in the multilingual context of Veneto (Italy), where the regional dialects and Italian share the same geolinguistic space. Languages with which a child comes into contact in his/her environment could provide a vantage point for the study of early contextual language adjustments. We compared the early production of a child - Francesco (17-30 months) - with his input, through a quantitative lexical approach to the material. Data were collected in an ecological family setting. Dyadic interactions (15 hours) were taped in Francesco's home and multiparty interactions (20 hours) were recorded in his grandparents' home. In the first setting, statistically-driven acquisition could justify the adjustments in Francesco's production to the language choices in his home environment. In the second setting, where social interaction is different, pragmatically motivated adjustments are more likely to ground Francesco's choices. Results from the analyses suggest that a) child-directed speech promotes steady acquisition of the language which is selected the most frequently in the input and that b) pragmatically explicit interactional contexts could favour the production of lesser used languages.
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Anna Ghimenton, Jean-Pierre Chevrot, Jacqueline Billiez. Language choice adjustments in child production during dyadic and multiparty interactions: A quantitative approach to multilingual interactions. Linguistics, De Gruyter, 2013, 51 (2), pp.413 - 438. ⟨10.1515/ling-2013-0016⟩. ⟨hal-00718009v3⟩

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