While it is now commonly accepted that simultaneous bilingual children can differentiate their two languages from very early in development, it is still not very well understood how they come to understand that there are two languages in their input. The purpose of this study was to examine how a bilingual child might come to an understanding of the existence of two languages in terms of pragmatic differentiation (use of the appropriate language for the context) and lexical differentiation (use of translation equivalents). Using data from a Portuguese-English bilingual child from 1;0 to 1;6, this study showed that the child showed evidence of pragmatic differentiation before lexical differentiation. If these results are replicated, they suggest that bilingual children's understanding of the appropriate social use of their two languages may lead to an understanding that the translation equivalents in their vocabulary belong to two distinct input languages.
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