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Bilingualism - Life with 2 languages by Francois Grosjean


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Bilingualism is an interesting topic. This is a part from the book "Life with 2 languages - An introduction to Bilingualism" written by Francois Grosjean, published in 1982.

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Bilingualism - Life with 2 languages by Francois Grosjean

  1. 1. Note from “Life with 2 languages” by Francois Grosjean 1982 Nathan Quach August 2013 Bilingualism
  2. 2. Agenda 1. Bilingualism in the world 2. Study cases 3. Outcome of Bilingualism 2
  3. 3. Bilingualism in the World • Bilingualism: “the regular use of 2 or more languages” o Number of existing languages: 3000 to 4000 • However, some are more important than the rest (i.e. spoken by major of world’s population) o Number of countries: 196 • Origins: o Contact between language groups (movement of peoples) o Military conquest o Colonization o Nationalism o Political federalism o Education o Industrialization o Urbanization o Intermarriage • Can be found in almost every countries in the world 3
  4. 4. Bilingualism in the World • Officially bilingual/multilingual countries: o Belgium: Flemish, French and German o Canada: English, French o Cyprus: Greek, Turkish o Finland: Finish, Swedish o India: Hindi, English o Israel: Hebrew, Arabic o Singapore: Chinese, Malay, Tamil and English o Switzerland: Swiss German, French and Italian 4
  5. 5. Bilingualism in the World • Monolingual countries with bilingualism: o America: • USA: English, Spanish, Chinese, French, … • Paraguay: Spanish, Guarani • … o Africa: • Tanzania: Swahili, English and many local languages • Ghana: English, Akan, Fanti, … (50 in total) • Lebanon: Arabic, French, English • … o Asia: • Malaysia: Malay, Chinese • Japan: Japanese, Ainu, Chinese and Korean • Philippine: Filipino, English, Spanish • … o Europe: • France: French, Bretons, Basques, Alsatians, Flemings, Catalans, Corsicans, Occitans and North Africans • Great Britain: English, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, West Indian Creole • Spain: Castilian Spanish, Catalan, Galician and Basque • … 5
  6. 6. Study case 1 – Japan (Military conquest & Colonization) • Highly monolingual – Japanese (99%) • Minorities group (1%): o Ainu: indigenous Caucasoid group from northern island of Hokkaido o Koreans & Chinese: • brought to Japan by force (1920s-1930s) • Separated from Japanese majority o Speak their respective languages o Attend their own schools o Participate in their own community affairs • Little effort from government to integrate 6
  7. 7. Study case 2 – Germany (Immigrant labour) • Used to be totally monolingual • Rebuilt economy after 2 world wars required cheap labour: o Turkey, Yugoslavia, Italy, Greece and so on -> bilingualism. o However, “They (host country) called for labour but human beings arrived”: • Temporary labour force – “unwanted jobs”, “badly paid”, “hired or fired at the whim of employers” • Problems of integrating immigrants and their families into society: o Discouraged from settling down o Hostility from native o Segregation o Cultural shock o Little/no bilingual education, few courses to learn native language, few/no radio/TV programs in the group’s language o Lack of support for cultural and language maintenance • Consequences: tension, grief and violence (similar cases: France, Great Britain and other industrialized nations) 7
  8. 8. Study case 3 – African nations (Colonization & Nationalism) • Gained independent -> select an official administrative language: o A language spoken by a linguistic group within country -> endoglossic. • Must not favour one ethnic group over another o Or a language from outside the nation -> exoglossic • Colonial language (e.g. English, French…) • The need for a written medium & its international character • The fear of internal cleavage when pre-eminence is given to a local language 8
  9. 9. Study case 3 – African nations (cont.) • Endoglossic examples: o Tanzania: Swahili – official language, coexists with other local languages and English. o Any problem? No. There’re positive attitudes toward bilingualism. • Exoglossic examples: o Zambia, Ghana: English – official language o Senegal: 90% population speak Wolof, but official language is French (used by minority). • Reason: French, spoken by elite class, is the key to social mobility. • Consequence: resentment, antagonism 9
  10. 10. Study case 4 – Paraguay (Intermarriage, Colonization & Nationalism) • Spanish, colonial language, is official language o Government business, school, army and official matters o Used by 60% of population • Guarani, Indian language, is national language o Informality, rural areas, home, emotions and friendship, folk culture o Used by 90% of population o Recognized as important as Spanish, “a unifying force in the country” 10
  11. 11. Study case 5 – Canada (Nationalism, Political federalism) • Official languages: French & English o Only 13% of population speak both regularly (fewer than there are in so-called monolingual African nations) o 67% English speaking o 26% French speaking • “Bilingual countries were created not to promote bilingualism, but to guarantee the maintenance and use of two or more languages in the same nation.” 11
  12. 12. Study case 5 – Canada (cont.) • Official policy of bilingualism: o Personality principle: • Bilingualism is official throughout the country • People freely to choose language to deal with administration and education for their children • E.g. South Africa, Canada o Territorial principle: • Country is divided into different monolingual areas, each with its own official language (administration & school) • E.g. Switzerland, Belgium 12
  13. 13. Study case 5 – Canada (cont.) • A bit of history: o Early 17th Cent: both English and French settled in Quebec, lived in relative peace. • Some intermarriages o 1762: in NA, 2m English settlers vs 80k French o 1763: France gave up its territories in Canada to British. • French speaking Canadian were guaranteed civil institutions, but had little say in the running of nation or their own province (Quebec) • English dominated economic and political life of country o 1968-69: Official Languages Act – English & French are declared official languages. o 1977: Chartre de la Langue Française - Quebec made French the SOLE official language of the province. 13
  14. 14. How is it now? 14
  15. 15. Conclusion about Bilingual nations • Bilingual countries were created NOT to promote bilingualism, but to guarantee the maintenance and use of two or more languages in the same nation and to help ease, when possible, tensions between the different linguistic groups 15
  16. 16. Outcome of Bilingualism 1. Prolonged Bilingualism o Nations are made up of different separate monolingual communities with a small portion of population serving as bilingual contact between groups • Belgium, Canada, Switzerland • Language of contact is usually the dominant/prestige language o It’s usually French-speaking Canadians who learn English than English Canadians who learn French. o Different languages for its own internal needs • Paraguay, Switzerland, Greece, Arab-speaking countries o Sign language and written form of the dominant oral language (Deaf people). 16
  17. 17. Outcome of Bilingualism 2. Return to Monolingualism: o Language maintenance: • Group has become bilingual due to military invasion/colonization, after foreign influence diminishes/is removed, reverts to original monolingualism. o Language shift: • The first language disappears and there’s a shift to the 2nd language. • When a nation is established o In 1876, Hungary was made an autonomous kingdom within Hapsburg empire (official languages was German). Hungarian was promoted as national language. o In 20 year time, German-speaking group reduced from 33% of Budapest population to 14%, while number of German-Hungarian bilinguals increased. • When a group of people migrates to another land o Result in mother-tongue displacement, either in native group or in migration group 17
  18. 18. Examples of Language Shift 1. Egyptian language disappeared (around 18th Century) due to Persians, Greeks, Romans and Arab who occupied part or all of Egypt at various times. 2. Welsh language o 1st language of most Welsh people for many centuries (despite English was official language of United Kingdom). o Due to industrialization in South Wales in 19th Century which brought in a flow of English immigrants, English slowly replaced Welsh. Today, 1% is monolingual in Welsh, 20% is bilingual and 79% is English monolingual. 3. And many Indian languages in South America that have ceased to be used when Indians shifted over to Spanish. 4. Many cases of members of the second generation of immigration being totally monolingual in English (Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA) 18
  19. 19. To conclude 19 Image from