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Field-Testing Code-Switching Constraints: A Report on a Strategic Languages Project

Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16801, USA
Languages 2019, 4(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4010007
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
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Abstract

The present article provides an overview of ongoing field-based research that deploys a variety of interactive experimental procedures in three strategically chosen bilingual contact environments, whose language dyads facilitate a partial separation of morphosyntactic factors in order to test the extent to which proposed grammatical constraints on intra-sentential code-switching are independent of language-specific factors. For purposes of illustration, the possibility of language switches between subject pronouns and verbs is compared for the three bilingual groups. The first scenario includes Ecuadoran Quichua and Media Lengua (entirely Quichua syntax and system morphology, all lexical roots replaced by Spanish items; both are null-subject languages). The second juxtaposes Spanish and the Afro-Colombian creole language Palenquero; the languages share highly cognate lexicons but differ substantially in grammatical structures (including null subjects in Spanish, only overt subjects in Palenquero). Spanish and Portuguese in north-eastern Argentina along the Brazilian border form the third focus: lexically and grammatically highly cognate languages that are nonetheless kept distinct by speakers (both null-subject languages, albeit with different usage patterns). Results from the three communities reveal a residual resistance against pronoun + verb switches irrespective of the subject-verb configuration, thereby motivating the application of similar techniques to other proposed grammatical constraints. View Full-Text
Keywords: intra-sentential code-switching; Palenquero language; Quichua; Media Lengua; Portuguese; Spanish; psycholinguistics; speech shadowing intra-sentential code-switching; Palenquero language; Quichua; Media Lengua; Portuguese; Spanish; psycholinguistics; speech shadowing
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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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Lipski, J.M. Field-Testing Code-Switching Constraints: A Report on a Strategic Languages Project. Languages 2019, 4, 7.

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