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The Mysteries of Bilingualism

Unresolved Issues

Grosjean, François


1. Auflage März 2022
176 Seiten, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-60237-8
John Wiley & Sons

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Eleven critical issues in the study of bilingualism: Insightful analyses by renowned expert François Grosjean

The majority of people living around the world today are able to speak more than one language, yet many aspects of the nature and experience of bilingualism raise unresolved questions for researchers. Who exactly is bilingual? What is the extent of bilingualism? How do infant bilinguals who acquire two languages at the same time manage to separate them? Does language processing work differently when bilinguals are interacting with monolinguals and with bilinguals? When a speaker changes their language, do they also change aspects of their personality?

In The Mysteries of Bilingualism, eminent scholar François Grosjean provides a comprehensive examination of individual bilingualism that delves into unanswered questions and challenges many of the myths and misconceptions surrounding bilingualism. Through insightful analyses of eleven key questions, this book offers a unique combination of personal reflection, literature review, personal testimony, and case studies to explore these mysteries. Altogether, this text offers:
* Comprehensive explorations of the linguistic aspects of bilingualism, including who is bilingual, describing bilinguals, accented speech, and language loss
* Practical discussions of speech and language processing, including language choice and mixed speech perception and production
* In-depth examinations of personality and culture in relation to bilingualism and biculturalism

Perfect for undergraduate and graduate students of bilingualism, multilingualism, second language acquisition, and applied linguistics, The Mysteries of Bilingualism offers an up-to-date view of the leading research questions in the study of bilingualism today.


Author Biography vii

Introduction 1

Part I Bilingual Adults and Children 5

1 Who Is Bilingual? 7

Definitions and Their Evolution 8

Describing Bilinguals 11

2 How Many Bilinguals Are There? 18

The Extent of Bilingualism 18

On the Difficulties of Counting People Who Are Bilingual 20

The Proportion of Bilinguals in a Number of Countries 23

Estimating the Percentage of Bilinguals in the World 27

3 Bilingual Infants' Journey to Language Separation 30

Perception Studies 31

Taking Pragmatics into Account 38

A Brief Account of Language Separation 40

Part II Linguistics and Neurolinguistics 43

4 Having an Accent in One of Your Languages 45

General Aspects 45

The Phonetic Characteristics of Accents 46

How Well Is Accented Speech Understood? 48

Factors that Affect the Degree of a Foreign Accent 50

Accent in a Third Language 55

5 Language Loss in Adults and Children 59

Language Loss in Adults 59

Language Loss in Young Children 63

6 Brain Injury and Bilingualism 72

A Personal Testimony 73

Language Impairment and Recovery in Bilingual Aphasia 74

Factors that Account for Impairment and Recovery 78

A Recent Meta-Analysis 81

Language Mixing and Aphasia 82

Part III Language Use and Language Processing 87

7 The Bilingual's Languages in Interaction 89

Choosing the Language of the Interaction 89

What Role for the Other Language? 92

Experimental Work on Language Mixing 94

The Language Mode Concept 97

8 What a Bilingual's Languages Are Used For 102

What Past Research Has Revealed 103

Recent Interest in Bilingual Language Use 104

Measuring Bilingual Language Use 106

Impact of Bilingual Language Use 109

9 Is Language Processing in Bilinguals Selective or Non-selective? 117

Language Perception and Comprehension 118

Spoken Language Production 122

Part IV Biculturalism and Personality 129

10 Bilinguals Who Are also Bicultural 131

Describing Biculturals 131

Becoming Bicultural and the Evolution of Biculturalism over Time 134

Acting Biculturally 137

Bicultural Identity 141

11 Change of Language, Change of Personality? 146

Opinions and Beliefs 147

Pioneering Research on the Question 147

Feeling Different When Using Different Languages 150

Is a Change of Personality Involved When Changing Languages? 152

An Explanation 154

Index 159
François Grosjean is Professor Emeritus at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. He is the author or co-author of many books on bilingualism, including The Psycholinguistics of Bilingualism (Wiley Blackwell, 2012; with Ping Li) and The Listening Bilingual: Speech Perception, Comprehension and Bilingualism (Wiley Blackwell, 2018; with Krista Byers-Heinlein). He is also the founder of the popular Psychology Today blog 'Life as a Bilingual'.

F. Grosjean, University of Neuchatel, Switzerland