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Languages 2016, 1(1), 3; doi:10.3390/languages1010003

Mixed Verbs in Contact Spanish: Patterns of Use among Emergent and Dynamic Bi/Multilinguals

Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, University of Florida, 170 Dauer Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611-7405, USA
Academic Editors: Usha Lakshmanan and Tej K. Bhatia
Received: 18 October 2015 / Revised: 2 March 2016 / Accepted: 7 March 2016 / Published: 23 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mixed Verbs and Linguistic Creativity in Bi/multilingual Communities)
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Abstract

The present study provides a quantitative analysis of mixed verbs in the naturalistic speech of 20 Northern Belize bi/multilinguals of two different age groups (ages 14–20 and ages 21–40). I examined the relative frequency of Spanish/English mixed verbs vis-à-vis syntactic verb type and phrasal verbs in mixed verbs. Results showed that the token frequency of mixed verbs was a predictive measure of the relative frequency of ‘hacer + V’ in code-switched speech. In relation to syntactic verb type, it was found that the least productivity in terms of argument structures was attested among the youngest group of emergent bi/multilinguals. For the incorporation of phrasal verbs in mixed verbs, no marked differences were attested in the relative frequency of phrasal verbs across emergent and dynamic bi/multilinguals, but differences did emerge in the semantic nature of phrasal verbs. Findings highlight the fundamental role that adult code-switchers with higher levels of bi/multilingual proficiency play in the creation and propagation of morphosyntactic innovations. View Full-Text
Keywords: Northern Belizean Spanish; mixed verbs; bilingual compound verbs; light verb constructions; Spanish/English code-switching; linguistic innovation Northern Belizean Spanish; mixed verbs; bilingual compound verbs; light verb constructions; Spanish/English code-switching; linguistic innovation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Balam, O. Mixed Verbs in Contact Spanish: Patterns of Use among Emergent and Dynamic Bi/Multilinguals. Languages 2016, 1, 3.

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