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Title: An experimental investigation into some problems of bilingualism
Author: MacLeod, Finlay
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1969
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The thesis begins with a consideration of the relationship between social context and the cognitive development of children. Current theories and experimental findings are reviewed. Previous studies of bilingualism are criticised in the light of what is now known of the relationship between (a) social setting, (b) the varieties of speech codes used to different situations in the social setting, and (c) cognitive development. This investigation is concerned with Gaelic-English bilingual children growing up in rural villages in the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides. A description of this community is included. It was hypothesised that, since these children use Gaelic at home and in the villages, and use English in school, (a) their English speech would be more elaborated than their Gaelic speech, and (b) they would perform at a higher level on concept formation tasks when using their English speech than when using their Gaelic speech. Speech samples were obtained from the children, and a number of concept formation tasks were used in an attempt to obtain a measure of their customary level of cognitive functioning. The findings generally support the hypotheses that the children's code of speech is more elaborated, when they use English than when they use Gaelic, and that they perform at a higher cognitive level when using English. The limitations of the techniques used in the present study are discussed, and suggestions are made for improving the design of future investigations into the problem of the relationship between bilingualism and cognition.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available