Asymmetric/unreciprocal/receptive/non-accommodating bilingualism

Bilingual Interactions: A conversation borrowed from the Linganth e-mail list. Thanks to all the participants! Q: What do you/we call it when a conversation unfolds in which Speaker A speaks to Speaker B in one language (X-ish), and Speaker B responds in another (Y-ish)? The assumption is that both speakers have at least some passive competence in the other’s language. And do you know of any scholarship on this phenomenon? Rudolf P. Gaudio ——— This practice has been advocated by some policymakers in Catalonia over the last couple decades, since autonomy was established in 1979. I wrote about it as

Idioms are hard

June 17, 2010 1 Comment Chad Nilep In the news , ,

Carl-Henric Svanberg, the chairman of BP, has apparently upset some Americans with his reference to “the small people.” My first reaction when I heard Svanberg’s remarks was that he must have been aiming for “the little guy” and produced a near miss.

University of Arizona Department of Linguistics’ letter to state lawmakers

The Arizona Department of Education is asking school districts to remove teachers who speak “heavily accented or ungrammatical” English from classrooms where students are learning English. In response, the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona has drafted a statement summarizing research on language variation and its effects on language acquisition.

Code switching and language alternation

A colleague writes to ask:

I read your article ‘Code Switching’ in Sociocultural Linguistics. What I wonder is [why] you didn’t write something about the author Grosjean (1982, Life with Two Languages). He also used the term Code Switching as one of the first. And I can’t get the differences between ‘ language alternation’ and ‘ code switching’? Can you describe the differences?

These are excellent questions.