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Life with Two Languages: An Introduction to Bilingualism / Edition 1

Life with Two Languages: An Introduction to Bilingualism / Edition 1

by François GrosjeanFrançois Grosjean


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Many people consider bilinguals to be exceptional, yet almost half the world’s population speaks more than one language. Bilingualism is found in every country of the world, in every class of society, in all age groups. Life with Two Languages is the first book to provide a complete and authoritative look at the nature of the bilingual experience. François Grosjean, himself a bilingual, covers the topic from each of its many angles in order to provide a balanced introduction to this fascinating phenomenon.

Grosjean discusses the political and social situations that arise when languages come into contact and the policies nations have established toward their linguistic minorities in the domains of education and governance. Of particular interest is his detailed account of the psychological and social factors that lead a bilingual to choose one of her languages when speaking to another bilingual or to use both languages in the fascinating phenomenon of code-switching. The author explains how children become bilingual as quickly as they become monolingual, describes the organization of languages in the bilingual brain, and examines the legacy of bilingualism on language, as exemplified in word borrowings.

Above all, Life with Two Languages puts the emphasis on the bilingual person. In a series of first-hand reports scattered throughout the book, bilinguals tell what it is like to live with two languages and describe the educational and social experiences they have undergone.

Written in a clear and informative style, Life with Two Languages will appeal to professionals and students in linguistics, education, sociology, and psychology, as well as to the more casually curious.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674530928
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 01/01/1984
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 524,703
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

François Grosjean is Professor Emeritus at the Université de Neuchâtel.

Table of Contents

1. Bilingualism in the World

The Extent of Bilingualism

National Patterns of Bilingualism

Language Policy and Linguistic Minorities

The Origins of Bilingualism

The Outcome of Bilingualism

2. Bilingualism in the United States

Language Diversity and Bilingualism

Aspects of the Life of Linguistic Minorities

Bilingual Education

Some Linguistic Minorities

Language Maintenance and Language Shift

3. Bilingualism in Society

Attitudes toward Language Groups and Languages

Language Choice


Bilingualism and Biculturalism

4. The Bilingual Child

Becoming Bilingual

The Acquisition of Two Languages

Aspects of Bilingualism in the Child

Education and the Bilingual Child

The Effects of Bilingualism on the Child

5. The Bilingual Person

Describing a Person's Bilingualism

The Psycholinguistics of Bilingualism

The Bilingual Brain

The Bilingual as a Person

6. Bilingual Speech and Language

Speaking to a Monolingual

Speaking to a Bilingual

The Legacy of Bilingualism




What People are Saying About This

Grosjean has written a very comprehensive review of the field that is both conceptually sound and entertaining. The book will undoubtedly inform, perhaps provoke and...entertain its readers.

Customer Reviews