How much input is enough? Correlating comprehension and child language input in an endangered language

Meakins, Felicity and Wigglesworth, Gillian (2013) How much input is enough? Correlating comprehension and child language input in an endangered language. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 34 2: 171-188. doi:10.1080/01434632.2012.733010


Author Meakins, Felicity
Wigglesworth, Gillian
Title How much input is enough? Correlating comprehension and child language input in an endangered language
Journal name Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0143-4632
1747-7557
Publication date 2013
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/01434632.2012.733010
Volume 34
Issue 2
Start page 171
End page 188
Total pages 18
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
In situations of language endangerment, the ability to understand a language tends to persevere longer than the ability to speak it. As a result, the possibility of language revival remains high even when few speakers remain. Nonetheless, this potential requires that those with high levels of comprehension received sufficient input as children for the activation of speech to occur in later life. In many areas of Australia, input to children of traditional Aboriginal languages is rarely monolingual, but rather often mixed with a contact variety of English. Thus, it is not clear whether children receive enough input to later become active speakers of the traditional languages. This paper reports on a study which tested the relationship between language comprehension and child language input. A vocabulary test of 40 items was administered to 52 Gurindji participants in five age groups. Participants were asked to listen to a Gurindji word and choose a corresponding picture. The test items were graded as high, medium or low frequency on the basis of their use in a corpus of Gurindji child-input speech. We found that age and frequency of use in child-directed speech significantly altered the chance of a correct response
Keyword Australia
Comprehension
Gurindji
Indigenous languages
Language revitalisation
Language testing
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Languages and Cultures Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 12 Mar 2013, 12:45:52 EST by Ms Katrina Hume on behalf of School of Languages and Cultures