Bilingual Transition of Address Terms for Family Members: A Longitudinal L1 Case Study from Birth


This longitudinal study focuses on the bilingual transition of address terms for family members used by a Japanese-English speaking child from birth. The child has been raised in Japan, mostly in English at home, and in Japanese at nursery since 0;4; and has been in a regular Japanese schooling system since 3;0. In a broad sense, her case can be considered as near “simultaneous” language acquisition (Paradis, et al., 2011). After the subject started the stage of cries and babbling, she started with English-sounding expressions. Since then, she has been calling her father as ‘Daddy’ who is an English-speaking father. It seems that she has set the stable address term for ‘father’. On the other hand, the transition of how she calls her mother has been striking, as if she was looking for the most appropriate expression for ‘mother’ who speaks both languages. While at times the subject was not sure of how to address people or things, she gradually founded her confidence in speaking both languages. By 5;0, she seemed to have become more comfortable in both ‘English’ and ‘Japanese’ and used both languages almost interchangeably according to the given environment by 6;0. This observation has shown that the environment has strongly influenced her L1 system throughout her language experiences for over 7 years. Between the two languages, she has almost established her own linguistic system by adjusting to the given environment, which appears to be partial trans-languaging.

Author Information
Hanako Hosaka, Tokai University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACL2020
Stream: Language Acquisition

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon