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International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching

Ed. by Jordens, Peter / Roberts, Leah

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Volume 55, Issue 1


Becoming multilingual: The macro and the micro time perspective

Björn Hammarberg
Published Online: 2017-04-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/iral-2017-0010


Potential multilingualism is a characteristic property of human language. This paper adopts a usage-based, complex-systems approach in discussing two different but interrelated perspectives on how multilingualism takes shape in individuals: the development of a linguistic repertoire over time (macro time perspective) and the processes of language use and acquisition in specific situations (micro time perspective). The concept of L3 has a role at the micro time level, in the situations of language use. A variable model of the situation of language use and acquisition in micro time is proposed. It adopts a factor approach which is inspired by Hufeisen’s Factor Model, but extends that model so as to be applicable to more variable stages and forms of linguistic repertoires. The connection between dynamic processes in micro and macro time is illustrated by data from a longitudinal test of phonological production which exposes both specific usage events and an evolving pattern.

Keywords: multilingual development; multilingual repertoire; L3 term definition; Factor Model extension; usage events and longer-time development


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About the article

Published Online: 2017-04-06

Published in Print: 2017-03-01

Citation Information: International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, Volume 55, Issue 1, Pages 3–22, ISSN (Online) 1613-4141, ISSN (Print) 0019-042X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/iral-2017-0010.

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