Language change in young Panjabi/English children: implications for bilingual language assessment

Martin Deirdre, Ramesh Krishnamurthy, Mangat Bhardwaj, Reeva Charles

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper reports some of the more frequent language changes in Panjabi, the first language of bilingual Panjabi/English children in the West Midlands, UK. Spontaneous spoken data were collected in schools across both languages in three formatted elicitation procedures from 50 bilingual Panjabi/English-speaking children, aged 6–7 years old. Panjabi data from the children is analysed for lexical borrowings and code-switching with English. Several changes of vocabulary and word grammar patterns in Panjabi are identified, many due to interaction with English, and some due to developmental features of Panjabi. There is also evidence of pervasive changes of word order, suggesting a shift in Panjabi word order to that of English. Lexical choice is discussed in terms of language change rather than language deficit. The implications of a normative framework for comparison are explored. A psycholinguistic model interprets grammatical changes in Panjabi.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)245-265
    Number of pages21
    JournalChild Language Teaching and Therapy
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003


    • language changes
    • Panjabi
    • bilingual
    • West Midlands
    • UK
    • English
    • children
    • vocabulary
    • grammar pattern
    • word order
    • lexic


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