Three-Year-Old English-Arabic Bilingual: Notes on Syntactic Code-Switching

Ahmed Alsharif


This paper attempts to explain the acquisition of two languages, namely English and Arabic, by a three-year-old child. It focuses on the same syntactic code-switching constructs dealt with earlier by Taweel and Btoosh (2012). In their study, they examined adult subjects. In our study, we will only focus on one child simultaneously acquiring English and Arabic. To collect the data, the child was observed by her parents and videotaped for the period of two weeks. We found several syntactic constructs produced by our informant where she code switched back and forth between Arabic and English. After that, we attempted to analyze the data and give explanation where it is appropriate. The scope of this article is descriptive as to states what might be going on with the child linguistically when she is acquiring English and Arabic at the same time. However, we are only focusing on the syntactic code switching part of it. 


Bilingualism, Arabic, Saudi Arabia, code switching, syntax, children.

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