Advertisement

Alyawarr Children’s Use of Two Closely Related Languages

  • Sally Dixon
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Minority Languages and Communities book series (PSMLC)

Abstract

A prevailing mystery in bilingualism research is just how speakers of creoles acquire a second language that is only subtly different from their first. This situation arises in Australia with Aboriginal children who speak contact languages, like Alyawarr English (AlyE), and subsequently learn Standard Australian English (SAE) at school. For these students, the task of learning SAE has unique characteristics. In Alyawarr English you can ‘hit’, be ‘hitting’ or ‘hitbat’ something. To speak SAE, how do children learn to stop using the -bat ending and reconfigure the semantics of ‘hit’ and ‘hitting’ in its absence? This chapter identifies three such differences between AlyE and SAE (aspect morphology, subject pronouns and transitive marking) and explores their variable use in the first two years of school.

Keywords

Alyawarr English Contact languages Australia Camouflaged forms Variation 

References

  1. Dixon, S. (2013). Educational failure or success: Aboriginal children’s non-standard English utterances. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 36(3), 302–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Garrity, A. W., & Oetting, J. B. (2010). Auxiliary BE production by African American English–speaking children with and without specific language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 53, 1307–1320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Haznedar, B. (2001). The acquisition of the IP system in child L2 English. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 23(2), 1–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hudson, J. (1983). Grammatical and semantic aspects of Fitzroy Valley Kriol. Work papers of SIL-AAB Series A, Volume 8.Google Scholar
  5. Hudson, C., & Angelo, D. (2014). Concepts underpinning innovations to second language proficiency scales inclusive of aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners: A dynamic process in progress. Papers in Language Testing and Assessment, 3(1), 44–85.Google Scholar
  6. Ionin, T., & Wexler, K. (2002). Why is ‘is’ easier than ‘-s’?: Acquisition of tense/agreement morphology by child second language learners of English. Second Language Research, 18(2), 95–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Klein, W. (1995). The acquisition of English. In R. Dietrich, C. Noyau, & W. Klein (Eds.), The acquisition of temporality in a second language. Amsterdam: J. Benjamins.Google Scholar
  8. Labov, W. (1969). Contraction, deletion, and inherent variability of the English Copula. Language, 45(4), 715–762.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lieven, E.V. M. (2008). Learning the English auxiliary: A usage-based approach. In Corpora in language acquisition research: History, methods, perspectives (pp. 61–98). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  10. McElhinny, B. S. (1993). Copula and auxiliary contraction in the speech of white Americans. American Speech, 68(4), 371–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Meakins, F. (2007). Case-marking in Contact: The development and function of case morphology in Gurindji Kriol, an Australian mixed language (PhD). University of Melbourne, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  12. O’Shannessy, C. (2013). The role of multiple sources in the formation of an innovative auxiliary category in Light Warlpiri, a new Australian mixed language. Language, 89(2), 328–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Paradis, J. (2008). Tense as a clinical marker in English L2 acquisition with language delay/ impairment. In E. Gavruseva & B. Haznedar (Eds.), Current trends in child second language acquisition: A generative perspective (pp. 337–356). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Pfaff, C. W. (1980). Lexicalization in Black English. In R. Day (Ed.), Issues in English creoles: Papers from the 1975 Hawaii conference (pp. 163–179). Philadelphia: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Polite, E., & Leonard, L. B. (2007). A method for assessing the use of first person verb forms by preschool-aged children with SLI. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 23(3), 353–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Samar, R. (2003). AUX-contraction in second language speech: A variationist analysis. Cahiers linguistiques d’Ottawa, 31, 1–18.Google Scholar
  17. Schultze-Berndt, E., Meakins, F., & Angelo, D. (2013). Kriol. In S. Michaelis, P. Maurer, M. Huber, & M. Haspelmath (Eds.), The survey of pidgin and creole languages (pp. 241–251). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Selinker, L. (1972). Interlanguage. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 10, 219–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Spears, A. K. (1982). The Black English semi-auxiliary come. Language, 58(4), 850–872.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Theakston, A. L., & Lieven, E. V. M. (2005). The acquisition of auxiliaries BE and HAVE: An elicitation study. Journal of Child Language, 32, 587–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Wolfram, W., & Schilling-Estes, N. (1998). American English: Dialects and variation. Malden: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  22. Yallop, C. (1977). Alyawarra: An aboriginal language of Central Australia. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sally Dixon
    • 1
  1. 1.Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

Personalised recommendations