What is the difference between bilingualism and diglossia?


Also: bilingualism. The ability to use two languages ​​alternately, "the people involved in such practice are called bilingual" (Weinreich 1977, 15). Bilingualism in a broader sense is the ability to use linguistic varieties (e.g. dialects) within a language, which is also referred to as "inner multilingualism" (Wandruszka) (cf. Apeltauer 2001, 628).

The practice of alternating use of two languages ​​appears both as an individual and as a collective phenomenon (cf. Bausch 1995, 83). In addition to the individual B. there is also the functional, social or collective bilingualism known as diglossia as an effect of language contact between and within language communities. Both manifestations are characterized by a “continuous instability” (Bausch 1995, 82), which affects both linguistic competence and “functional range” (ibid.). Individual bilingualism can be described using different classification criteria due to the complexity of all the features and relationships that characterize it:

  1. The ability to use two languages ​​alternately is reflected in different levels of language proficiency. In addition to the "individual feeling of being at home in both languages, i.e." the awareness of bilingualism "(Kielhöfer / Jonekeit 1995, 11) as the decisive factor for the same in general, various forms of bilingualism can be distinguished in the sense of a specific competence.

    a) Balanced bilingualism denotes individuals who “have two first languages” and can easily switch from one language to the other at any time, “without reaching limits” (Apeltauer 2001, 692).

    b) Normal bilingualism is given by people who have a dominant or strong language (cf. Kielhöfer / Jonekeit 1995, 12) in which they can express themselves in a differentiated manner. The second or weak language is also spoken fluently, but the possibilities of expression in it are more limited.
    The purpose-oriented and situation-dependent use of the two languages ​​by normal bilingual people is referred to as functional B. (cf. Apeltauer 2001, 631). The skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing are developed differently in normal bilingual people. If the second language is only mastered receptively, there is a special form of the functional B., which is referred to as receptive B. Productive B. includes the training of productive and receptive skills.

    c) Semilingualism (Semilingualism) is a form of B. in which the individuals do not have age-appropriate language competence in either of the two languages, measured against monolinguals (cf. ibid.). The reasons for this are less linguistic than social and political (cf. Lüdi 1996, 236).
    When acquiring a second language, unfavorable political and social factors and conditions lead to neglect / stunting of the first language, which in turn has a negative effect on second language acquisition more subtractive B. (cf. Apeltauer 2001, 633). As far as the interdependence factor in the development of both languages ​​is concerned (cf. ibid.), There is also the possibility of acquiring a second language without neglecting the first language. In the case of the so-called additive B. the linguistic competence, cognitive and social skills of the learner as a whole are expanded.

  2. With regard to the age and the order of language acquisition, the following forms of bilingualism can be distinguished:

    a) If “two mother tongues are acquired under natural conditions from birth”, this simultaneous or double acquisition of the first language is called early childhood B. (see Kielhöfer 1995, 432; Kielhöfer / Jonekeit 1995).

    b) The successive acquisition of a second language from the age of 3 up to puberty is referred to as second language acquisition (CSE) for the child, after puberty it is called CSE for adults (cf. Klein, W. 1992, 27).

  3. The way in which two languages ​​are learned (the same or different contexts), as well as the associated form of their storage, i.e. the mental representation in the bilingual individual, lead since Weinreich (1953) and subsequently Ervin and Osgood (1954) a controversial distinction (cf. Grosjan 1982, 240ff .; Klein 1992) of compound or combined Federation coordinated B. Coordinated B. therefore occurs when the languages ​​have been learned in different contexts (e.g. at home and then abroad). Language acquisition at school and bilingual first language acquisition, on the other hand, result in a compound B. These different forms of employment lead to different forms of meaning representation (cf. Klein 1992, 24).

The theory, based on Penfield (Penfield / Roberts 1959) and subsequently Lenneberg (1967), of a “critical range” (approximately from age 2 to puberty) of mono- or bilingual first language acquisition and second language acquisition up to puberty led in the following decades on controversial hypotheses about the “best age” and the associated specific learning paths of second or foreign language acquisition (cf. Klein 1992 ff .; Bausch 1995, 85).

The assessment of individual bilingualism has seen a turning point in the specialist literature. While negative judgments predominated before 1950, since then the advantages of bilingualism have predominantly been emphasized in many studies (cf. Kielhöfer 1995).

Second language acquisition

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