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See G. Saunders, Bilingual Children (1988); K. Hyltenstam and L. K. Obler, ed., Bilingualism Across the Lifespan (1989).
one person’s or group’s fluent command of and ability to use two different languages or two dialects of one language (for example, a local dialect and the literary language). Mass bilingualism occurs in history as the result of conquests, peaceful migration of peoples, and contacts between neighboring groups speaking different languages.
In bilingualism, the degree of fluency in each language, the ways in which the various spheres of communication are distributed between the languages, and the attitudes of the speakers to them depend on many factors in the social, economic, political, and cultural life of the group concerned. When there is a conflict between two languages, one may completely supplant the other (as, for example, Spanish and Portuguese “have replaced the Indian languages in Latin America), or a new mixed language may be created (for example, French, which developed from Latin and local Celtic dialects), or both languages may undergo certain changes in various aspects of the language structure. Phonetically there may be changes in the characteristics of pronunciation—for example, Ossetic, which belongs to the Iranian group of languages, has borrowed phonetic characteristics from the Dagestanian languages spoken around it. Grammatical phenomena may be borrowed or copied—for example, Russian has borrowed the participial construction of the old Slavonic language Yaroslav. Especially in terms of vocabulary, words are borrowed and copied—English, for example, borrowed French vocabulary when French was the official language in England.
REFERENCESShcherba, L. “Ocherednye problemy iazykovedeniia.” In his book Izbrannye raboty po iazykoznaniiu ifonetike, vol. 1. Leningrad, 1958.
Bloomfield, L. lazyk. Moscow, 1968. (Translated from English.)
Vendryés, G. lazyk. Moscow, 1937. (Translated from French.)
Weinreich, U. Languages in Contact. New York, 1953.
V. V. RASKIN