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Languages 2016, 1(1), 5; doi:10.3390/languages1010005

Structural Changes in Bengali–English Bilingual Verbs through the Exploration of Bengali Films

CAS Writing Program, Boston University, 100 Bay State Road, Room 320, Boston, MA 02215, USA
Academic Editors: Usha Lakshmanan, Osmer Balam and Tej K. Bhatia
Received: 31 October 2015 / Revised: 2 March 2016 / Accepted: 7 March 2016 / Published: 14 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mixed Verbs and Linguistic Creativity in Bi/multilingual Communities)
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Abstract

This paper investigates structural changes in the use of Bengali–English bilingual verbs through the exploration of Bengali film scripts from three decades: the 1970s, 1990s and post-2010. Previous research has shown that the increase in use of bilingual verbs, especially involving embedded language lexical verbs with matrix language helping verbs possibly results from increased bilingual proficiency. Over the past years, the use of English, including code-switching between Indian languages and English has increased dramatically in Indian society. Given this development, this paper explores film data to ascertain the extent to which the use of bilingual verbs, closely connected to code-switching and bilingual speech, has also changed diachronically in Bengali–English speech and if these changes occur from increased levels of bilingual proficiency. In connection with structural change, this paper also discusses the sociolinguistic factors that may be related to bilingual verb use. Results show a massive increase in bilingual verbs in the films post-2010, especially the ones involving English lexical verbs. Increased use of code-switching may have played a role in these changes and sociolinguistic factors related to the use of bilingual verbs seem to be less relevant now as compared to the earlier decades. View Full-Text
Keywords: bilingual complex verbs; language change; code-switching; diachronic investigation; Bengali bilingual complex verbs; language change; code-switching; diachronic investigation; Bengali
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Chatterjee, T. Structural Changes in Bengali–English Bilingual Verbs through the Exploration of Bengali Films. Languages 2016, 1, 5.

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