``the psychological state of an individual who has access to more than one linguistic code as a means of social communication" whereas bilingualism ``includes that of bilinguality (individual bilingualism) but refers equally to the state of a linguistic community in which two languages are in contact with the result that two codes can be used in the same interaction and that a number of individuals are bilingual" that is, bilingualism is societal.
What is the degree of cultural variation between the two cultures associated with the two languages? (How different are the two linguistic cultures?)
Weinreich 1953 made a distinction between COMPOUND and COORDINATE bilingualism. The compound bilingual supposedly had one semantic system and two codes; the coordinate bilingual supposedly had two semantic systems, and two codes.
|Semantic System 1||Semantic System 2|
|Language 1||Language 2|
|Language 1||Language 2|
One might ask how much semantic overlap there might be between the two languages; closely related languages (e.g. Spanish and Italian) share much semantic overlap. Distantly related languages (e.g. Japanese and English) do not share much.
Where there is widespread community bilingualism (e.g. in India) the semantic systems tend to converge over time, and so does language structure. Vastly different languages end up becoming very similar; Gumperz & Wilson study of trilingual area where Urdu, Marathi and Kannada had converged, but were still kept separate by the three communities (which differed in religion as well).
Nowadays people think the difference is not so much separate semantic systems but separate (linguistic?) cultures: BICULTURALISM and degree of difference would be crucial. Note that biculturalism may exist without significant difference of linguistic codes.
But see also
posting from Linguist-List about locational and lateralization
differences, based on
Rise of a French-Canadian urbanized middle class (previously French-Canadians had
been rural, educated only in religious schools. See cartoon
stereotype of 'Pierre of the North.') and a
resurgence of French Canadian identity, new studies among French
controlled for socioeconomic factors, etc. found no deficit.
Peal 1962 found no shortcomings; French/English bilinguals in Montreal scored
ahead of carefully-controlled monolinguals in both verbal and nonverbal
measures of intelligence. Bilinguals had more `diversified structure of
intelligence' and more `flexibility in thought.' Findings confirmed from
research in Singapore, Switzerland, South Africa, Israel/NYC, other Canadian.
Biling. children show `greater cognitive flexibility': they recognize the
arbitrariness of words and their referents.
Despite the caveats, the notion that bilingualism is necessarily a burden is dispelled, but what has been learned is that
But see most recent research on Singapore (Gopinathan et al. Language, Society and Eduation in Singapore, showing problems there.
See also this report on A research Agenda for
Improving Schooling for Language minority Children.