Bilingualism is another response to language contact. In the United States, large numbers of non-English speaking immigrants arrived in the late 19 th and early 20 th century. Typically, their children were bilingual and their grandchildren were monolingual speakers of English. When the two languages are not kept separate in function, speakers can intersperse phrases from one into the other, which is called code switching. Speakers may also develop a dialect of one language that is heavily influenced by features of the other language, such as the contemporary American dialect Chicano English.
But it may not take coercive suggestion to affect a person’s memories. The testimony of eyewitnesses is notoriously subject to suggestion and to error, frequently with dire effects on the wrongfully accused. 6 With the advent of DNA testing, it is now possible to find, in many cases, an objective corroboration or refutation of such testimony, and Schacter notes that “a recent analysis of forty cases in which DNA evidence established the innocence of wrongly imprisoned individuals revealed that thirty-six of them (90 percent) involved mistaken eyewitness identification.”
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