Shift in language dominance in bilinguals

An acculturation perspective

Authors

  • Kate Hammer University College London

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/sols.33335

Keywords:

Language dominance, acculturation, language shift, language development over lifespan, complementarity principle, Polish-English bilinguals

Abstract

This paper investigates shift in language dominance in sequential bilinguals following migration. Participants include 149 Polish-English bilinguals who relocated to the United Kingdom in early adulthood and underwent processes of acculturation and sociocultural integration. The independent variables in this study are divided into (1) sociocultural aspects, including: migration, acculturation level, social network profile, predicted future domicile; and (2) biographical aspects, including: age of onset of L2 acquisition (AoA), age at migration, and length of residence. The study employed both quantitative and qualitative approaches. The findings revealed strong links between language dominance and sociocultural variables including acculturation level, social network profile, and predicted future domicile. The results showed that sociocultural integration is a strong predictor of shift in language dominance. This study adds sociocultural and dominance perspectives to current research on language development over lifespan, by documenting a shift in language dominance in young adult sequential bilinguals following migration. 

Author Biography

Kate Hammer, University College London

Dr Kate Hammer is a Lecturer at the UCL Centre for Applied Linguistics, University College London, United Kingdom. Her research interests are varied and include the interaction between language use in bilinguals, cognition, and culture. She has authored a number of original research publications, including ‘L1 + L2 to the power of culture: Acculturation and language use for cognitive domains in bilinguals’, published by Cambridge University Press.  

References

Abrahamsson, N. and Hyltenstam, K. (2009) Age of onset and nativelikeness in a second language: Listener perception versus linguistic scrutiny. Language Learning 59: 249–306. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2009.00507.x. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2009.00507.x

Allard, R. and Landry, R. (1992) Ethnolinguistic vitality beliefs and language maintenance and loss. In W. Fase, J. Koen and S. Kroon (eds) Maintenance and loss of minority languages, studies in bilingualism 171–195. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/sibil.1.14all. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/sibil.1.14all

Berry, J. W. (2005) Acculturation: Living successfully in two cultures. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 29: 697–712. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2005.07.013. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2005.07.013

Bialystok, E. (1997). The structure of age: In search of barriers to second language acquisition. Second Language Research 13(2): 116–137. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1191/026765897677670241. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1191/026765897677670241

Birdsong, D. (2006) Dominance, proficiency, and second language grammatical processing. Applied Psycholinguistics 27: 46–49. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716406220034. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716406220034

Bochner, S. (2006) Sojourners. In D. L. Sam and J. W. Berry (eds) Cambridge handbook of acculturation psychology 181–197. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511489891.016. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511489891.016

Bultena, S., Dijkstra, T. and van Hell, J.G. (2015) Language switch costs in sentence comprehension depend on language dominance: Evidence from self-paced reading. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 18: 453–469. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728914000145. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728914000145

Carroll, R., Luna, D. (2011) The other meaning of fluency. Journal of Advertising 40: 73–84. Doi: https://doi.org/10.2753/JOA0091-3367400306. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2753/JOA0091-3367400306

Chan, L., Dörnyei, Z. and Henry, A. (2015) Learner archetypes and signature dynamics in the language classroom: A retrodictive qualitative modelling approach to studying L2 motivation. In P. MacIntyre and A. Henry (eds) Motivational dynamics in language learning 238–259. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Doi: https://doi.org/10.21832/9781783092574-018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21832/9781783092574-018

Chiswick, B. R. and Miller, P. W. (2005) Do enclaves matter in immigrant adjustment? City and Community 4: 5–35. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1535-6841.2005.00101.x. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1535-6841.2005.00101.x

Cook, V. and Singleton, D. (2014) Key topics in second language acquisition. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Doi: https://doi.org/10.21832/9781783091812. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21832/9781783091812

Council of Europe (2011) Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. Council of Europe.

Dabène, L. and Moore, D. (1995) Bilingual speech of migrant people. In L. Milroy and P. Muysken (eds) One speaker, two languages: Cross-disciplinary perspectives on codeswitching 17–44. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620867.002. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620867.002

Daller, M. H., Yildiz, C., de Jong, N. H., Kan, S. and Basbagi, R. (2011) Language dominance in Turkish–German bilinguals: Methodological aspects of measurements in structurally different languages. International Journal of Bilingualism 15: 215–236. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/1367006910381197. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1367006910381197

Daming, X., Xiaomei, W. and Wei, L. (2009). Social Network Analysis. In L. Wei and M.G. Moyer (eds) The Blackwell guide to research methods in bilingualism and multilingualism 263–274. Oxford: Blackwell. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444301120.ch15. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444301120.ch15

de Bot, K. and Schrauf, R. W. (eds) (2009). Language development over the lifespan. New York: Routledge. Doi: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203880937. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203880937

DeKeyser, R. M. (2000) The robustness of critical period effects in second language acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 22: 499–533. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263100004022. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263100004022

Dewaele, J.-M. (2009) The effect of age of acquisition on self-perceived proficiency and language choice among adult multilinguals. EUROSLA Yearbook 9: 245–268. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/eurosla.9.12dew. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/eurosla.9.12dew

Dewaele, J.-M. (2010) Emotions in multiple languages. Palgrave-MacMillan: Basingstoke. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230289505. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230289505

Dewaele, J.-M. (2013) Second and additional language acquisition. In L. Wei (ed) Introduction to Applied Linguistics 46–68. Malden and Oxford: Blackwell. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0904. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0904

Dewaele, J.-M. (2015a) From obscure echo to language of the heart: Multilinguals’ language choices for (emotional) inner speech. Journal of Pragmatics 87: 1–17. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2015.06.014. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2015.06.014

Dewaele, J.-M. (2015b) Culture and emotional language. In F. Sharifian (ed.) The Routledge handbook of language and culture 357–370. New York: Routledge.

Dewaele, J.-M., Pavlenko, A. (2001) Web questionnaire Bilingualism and Emotions.

Dörnyei, Z. (2007) Research methods in applied linguistics: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dörnyei, Z. (2014) Researching complex dynamic systems: ‘Retrodictive qualitative modelling’ in the language classroom. Language Teaching 47: 80–91. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444811000516. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444811000516

Dunn, A. L. and Fox Tree, J. E. (2009) A quick, gradient bilingual dominance scale. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 12: 273–289. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728909990113. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728909990113

Dunn, A. L. and Fox Tree, J. E. (2014) More on language mode. International Journal of Bilingualism 18: 605–613. Doi : https://doi.org/10.1177/1367006912454509 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1367006912454509

Epstein, I. (1915) La pensée et la polyglossie: Essai psychologique et didactique. [Thought and multilingualism: A psychological and didactic essay]. Lausanne: Librarie Payot.

Esser, H. (2006) Migration, language and integration (AKI Research Review), Programme on intercultural conflicts and societal integration. Berlin: Social Research Centre.

Fishman, J. A. (1964) Language maintenance and language shift as a field of inquiry. A definition of the field and suggestions for its further development. Linguistics 2: 32–70. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.1964.2.9.32. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.1964.2.9.32

Fishman, J. A. (1965) Who speaks what language to whom and when? La linguistique 1: 67–88.

Fishman, J. A. (1989) Language and ethnicity in minority sociolinguistic perspective. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Flege, J. E., MacKay, I. R. and Piske, T. (2002) Assessing bilingual dominance. Applied Psycholinguistics 23: 567–598. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716402004046. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716402004046

García, O., Pelth, R., Schiffman, H. and Fishman, G. S. (2006) Language loyalty, continuity and change: Joshua A. Fishman’s contributions to international sociolinguistics. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Doi: https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853599040. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853599040

Gardner, R. C. and Lambert, W. E. (1972) Attitudes and motivation in second-language learning. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.

Goral, M., Campanelli, L. and Spiro, A. (2015) Language dominance and inhibition abilities in bilingual older adults. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 18: 79–89. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728913000126. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728913000126

Grosjean, F. (1997) The bilingual individual. Interpreting 2: 163–187. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/intp.2.1-2.07gro. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/intp.2.1-2.07gro

Grosjean, F. (2002) Interview on bilingualism, with questions asked by Judit Navracsics, Veszprem University, Hungary (conducted in February 2002).

Grosjean, F. (2010) Bilingual: Life and reality. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Doi: https://doi.org/10.4159/9780674056459. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4159/9780674056459

Grosjean, F. (2015) Bicultural bilinguals. International Journal of Bilingualism 19: 572–586. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/1367006914526297. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1367006914526297

Grosjean, F. (2016) The Complementarity Principle and its impact on processing, acquisition and dominance. In C. Silva-Corvalán and J. Treffers-Daller (eds) Language dominance in bilinguals: Issues of operationalization and measurement 66–84. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107375345.004. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107375345.004

Grosjean, F. and Ping, L. (eds) (2013) The psycholinguistics of bilingualism. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.

Hamers, J. F. and Blanc, M. (2000) Bilinguality and bilingualism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511605796. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511605796

Hammer, K. (2012) Web questionnaire on language use and language choice in bilinguals (E-PLUS). Unpublished manuscript, University of London.

Hammer, K. (2015) Life in a new language: An acculturation perspective on language shift in bilinguals. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of London.

Hammer, K. and Dewaele, J.-M. (2015) Acculturation as the key to the ultimate attainment? The case of Polish-English bilinguals in the UK. In F. Forsberg Lundell and I. Bartning (eds) Cultural migrants and optimal language acquisition 179–202. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Doi: https://doi.org/10.21832/9781783094042-008. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21832/9781783094042-008

Hlavac, J. (2013) Multilinguals and their sociolinguistic profiles: Observations on language use amongst three vintages of migrants in Melbourne. International Journal of Multilingualism 10: 411–440. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/14790718.2013.832123. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14790718.2013.832123

Hoffman, E. (1989) Lost in translation: A life in a new language. New York: Penguin Books.

Holmes, J. (1997) Keeping tabs on language shift in New Zealand: Some methodological considerations. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 18: 17–39. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/01434639708666300. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01434639708666300

Hulsen, M., de Bot, K. and Weltens, B. (2002) Between two worlds: Social networks, language shift, and language processing in three generations of Dutch migrants in New Zealand. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 153: 27–52. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl.2002.004. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl.2002.004

Isurin, L., Winford, D. and de Bot, K. (2009) Multidisciplinary approaches to code switching. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/sibil.41. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/sibil.41

Jia, G. and Aaronson, D. (1999) Age differences in second language acquisition: The dominant language switch and maintenance hypothesis. In H. Greenhill, H. Littlefield and C. Tano (eds) Proceedings of the 23rd Boston University Conference on Language Development 301–312. Presented at the 23rd Boston University Conference on Language Development. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716402004058.

Jia, G., Aaronson, D. and Wu, Y. (2002) Long-term language attainment of bilingual immigrants: Predictive variables and language group differences. Applied Psycholinguistics 23: 599–621. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716402004058

Jiang, M., Green, R. J., Henley, T. B. and Masten, W. G. (2009) Acculturation in relation to the acquisition of a second language. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 30: 481–492. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/01434630903147898. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01434630903147898

Kerswill, P. (2006) Migration and language. In K. Mattheier, U. Ammon and P. Trudgill (eds) Sociolinguistics/Soziolinguistik. An international handbook of the science of language and society 2271–2285. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Kharkhurin, A. V. and Wei, L. (2015) The role of code-switching in bilingual creativity. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 18: 153–169. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2014.884211. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2014.884211

Köpke, B. and Schmid, M. (2004) First language attrition: The next phase. In M. Schmid, M. Keijzer and L. Weilemar (eds) First language attrition: Interdisciplinary perspectives on methodological issues 1–43. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/sibil.28.02kop. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/sibil.28.02kop

Lowie, W., Verspoor, M. and de Bot, K. (2009) A dynamic view of second language development across the lifespan. In K. de Bot and R. W. Schrauf (eds) Language Development over the Lifespan 125–145. New York: Routledge.

Magiste, E. (1979) The competing language systems of the multilingual: A developmental study of decoding and encoding processes. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior 18: 79–89. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-5371(79)90584-X. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-5371(79)90584-X

Nguyen, A.-M. D. and Benet-Martínez, V. (2007) Biculturalism unpacked: Components, measurement, individual differences, and outcomes. Social and Personality Psychology Compass 1: 101–114. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-9004.2007.00029.x. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-9004.2007.00029.x

Olson, D. J. (2015) The impact of code-switching, language context, and language dominance on suprasegmental phonetics: Evidence for the role of predictability. International Journal of Bilingualism 20: 453–472. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/1367006914566204. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1367006914566204

Opitz, C. (2010) L1 attrition and L2 acquisition: Global language proficiency and language dominance in adult bilinguals. EUROSLA Yearbook 10: 248–281. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/eurosla.10.13opi. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/eurosla.10.13opi

Papastergiadis, N. (2000) The turbulence of migration. Cambridge: Polity.

Pavlenko, A. (ed.) (2011) Thinking and speaking in two languages. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Doi: https://doi.org/10.21832/9781847693389. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21832/9781847693389

Pavlenko, A. (2014) The bilingual mind: And what it tells us about language and thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139021456. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139021456

Preece, S. (ed.) (2016) The Routledge handbook of language and identity. New York: Routledge. Doi: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315669816. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315669816

Pütz, M. (1994) Sprachöcologie und Sprachwechsel. Die Deutsch-Australische Sprech-gemeinschaft in Canberra. [Language ecology and language shift. The German-Australian Speech Community in Canberra]. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Regan, V., Diskin, C. and Martyn J. (eds) (2016) Language, identity and migration: Voices from transnational speakers and communities. Oxford: Peter Lang. Doi: https://doi.org/10.3726/978-3-0353-0776-4. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3726/978-3-0353-0776-4

Schmid, M. S. (2011) Language attrition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Schrauf, R. W. (2009) English use among older bilingual immigrants in linguistically concentrated neighborhoods: Social proficiency and internal speech as intracultural variation. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 24: 157–179. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10823-009-9091-0. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10823-009-9091-0

Schrauf, R. W. (2014) Using correspondence analysis to model immigrant multilingualism over time. In J. Duarte and I. Gogolin (eds) Linguistic super-diversity in urban areas - research approaches 27–44. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/hsld.2.04sch. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/hsld.2.04sch

Schumann, J. H. (1976) Social distance as a factor in second language acquisition. Language Learning 26: 135–143. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1976. tb00265.x. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1976.tb00265.x

Schumann, J. H. (1986) Research on the acculturation model for second language acquisition. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 7: 379–392. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.1986.9994254. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.1986.9994254

Silva-Corvalán, C. and Treffers-Daller, J. (eds) (2016) Language dominance in bilinguals: Issues of measurement and operationalization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107375345. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107375345

Singleton, D. (2003) Critical period or general age factor(s)? In M. P. Garcia Mayo and M. L. Garcia Lecumberri (eds) Age and the acquisition of English as a foreign language 3–22. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Doi: https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853596407-002. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853596407-002

Smith, J. A. (2011) ‘We could be diving for pearls’: The value of the gem in experiential qualitative psychology. Qualitative Methods in Psychology Bulletin 12: 6–15.

Stoessel, S. (2002) Investigating the role of social networks in language maintenance and shift. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 153: 93–132. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl.2002.006. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl.2002.006

Straub, J. (2006) Understanding cultural differences: Relational hermeneutics and comparative analysis in cultural psychology. In J. Straub, D. Weidemann, C. Kolbl, and B. Zielke (eds) Pursuit of meaning: Advances in cross-cultural psychology 163–241. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag. Doi: https://doi.org/10.14361/9783839402344-009. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783839402344-009

Treffers-Daller, J. (2011) Operationalizing and measuring language dominance. International Journal of Bilingualism 15: 147–163. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/1367006910381186. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1367006910381186

Treffers-Daller, J. and T. Korybski (2016) Using lexical diversity measures to operationalise language dominance in bilinguals. In C. Silva-Corvalán and J. Treffers-Daller (eds) Language dominance in bilinguals: Issues of operationalization and measurement 106–133. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107375345.006. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107375345.006

Wang, X. (2013) Language dominance in translation priming: Evidence from balanced and unbalanced Chinese–English bilinguals. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 66: 727–743. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2012.716072. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2012.716072

Ward, C. (2001) The A, B Cs of acculturation. In D. Matsumoto (ed.) The handbook of culture and psychology 411–447. New York: Oxford University Press.

Wei, L. (1994) Three generations, two languages, one family: Language choice and language shift in a Chinese community in Britain. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Wei, L. (1999) The ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions in the analysis of conversational code-switching. In P. Auer (ed.) Code-switching in conversation: Language, interaction and identity 156–179. London: Routledge.

Wei, L. and Hua, Z. (2013) Diaspora: Multilingual and intercultural communication across time and space. AILA Review 26: 42–56. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/aila.26.04wei. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/aila.26.04wei

Weinreich, U. (1953) Languages in contact. The Hague: Mouton.

Wilson, R. and Dewaele, J.-M. (2010) The use of web questionnaires in second language acquisition and bilingualism research. Second Language Research 26: 103–123. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0267658309337640. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0267658309337640

Published

2021-12-20

How to Cite

Hammer, K. (2021). Shift in language dominance in bilinguals: An acculturation perspective. Sociolinguistic Studies, 15(2-4), 299–322. https://doi.org/10.1558/sols.33335

Issue

Section

Articles