Wednesday 10 January 2024

Understanding Language Shift


 Chetan’s first language was Bhojpuri. Since arriving in Tamil Nadu, he no longer speaks Bhojpuri and only speaks English with the natives. When the new second language replaces the native language, this is an example of :

(1) Code-switching

(2) Bilingualism

(3) Subtractive bilingualism

(4) Code-mixing


Subtractive Bilingualism: Understanding Language Shift


1.     Code-switching:

·         Definition: Code-switching refers to the practice of alternating between two or more languages or dialects within a conversation.

·         Example: Using both English and Spanish in the same conversation.

2.     Bilingualism:

·         Definition: Bilingualism involves the ability to speak and understand two languages proficiently.

·         Example: Being fluent in both English and French.

3.     Subtractive Bilingualism:

·         Definition: Subtractive bilingualism occurs when a new language is acquired at the expense of the native language. The proficiency in the native language diminishes over time as the new language takes precedence.

·         Example: Chetan initially spoke Bhojpuri but, upon moving to Tamil Nadu, shifted to speaking only English, resulting in a reduction in proficiency in Bhojpuri.

4.     Code-mixing:

·         Definition: Code-mixing involves incorporating elements from one language into another within the same utterance or conversation.

·         Example: Alternating between English and Hindi words within a sentence.

Conclusion: Chetan's situation, where he no longer speaks Bhojpuri and exclusively uses English after moving to Tamil Nadu, is an example of Subtractive Bilingualism (3). In this case, the acquisition of English has led to a reduction in proficiency or use of the native language (Bhojpuri).