Article published in:Literacies in Contact
Edited by Manuela Böhm and Constanze Weth
[Written Language & Literacy 23:2] 2020
► pp. 154–179
What is a word?
Word segmentation in multilingual writers writing French and Moroccan Arabic
Practices of word segmentation in French and Moroccan Arabic by beginning and advanced bilingual writers in two historically and linguistically divergent settings are analysed in a threefold perspective: (1) In the different sociocultural contexts of linguistically heterogeneous France in the 1870’s and a town with remarkable immigration from Morocco in Germany in 2000, dictations constitute monolingual settings of language policy and normativity; (2) structurally, open and closed spellings of (clitic) function and content words indicate constraints of different orthographies, focussing either phonology or morphosyntax; (3) in the framework of contact linguistics, bilingual students write in one of their languages (French, Moroccan Arabic) with resources of other languages (like Breton, German, Classical Arabic).The results show that the students’ writings are influenced by graphematic structures not directly related to the language dictated. In French Brittany, a great importance of closed spellings may be supported by the agglutinative feature of the Breton language, while the apostrophe as a striking feature of French orthography is used primarily, but often only emblematically, by the students in Gascony. Moroccan Arabic writers in Germany are influenced indirectly by their first school language, German, in the way they mark word boundaries in prepositional phrases (PP) and imperfective verb forms. Classical Arabic, however, remains of marginal influence although both varieties are historically and structurally closely related.
Keywords: word segmentation, spelling, orthography, clitics, primary students, dictations, French, Arabic, German, Breton
- 2.Theoretical background
- 2.1Word boundaries and orthographies
- 2.2The acquisition of word boundaries
- 2.3Crosslinguistic-processes in writing: The concept of the graphematic matrix language
- 2.4Norms and emblematic values of graphematic features in multilingual writing processes
- 3.Case study I: French dictations in Brittany and Gascony
- 3.1French in France
Liaison and élision in spoken and written French
- 3.3Phenomena of cliticization in Breton
- 3.4Design of the study and data collection
- 1.Closed spelling: Liaison and élision
- 2.Open spelling: De-composition and emblematic use of the apostrophe
- 4.Case study: Moroccan Arabic written in Germany
- 4.1Moroccan Arabic in Germany
- 4.2Prosodic and grammatical word boundaries in German and Arabic
- 4.3Design of the study and data collection
Published online: 02 February 2021
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