Mar 5 2021

Code-switching at the interface of grammar, cognition and culture

Talks in Linguistics (TiL)

March 5, 2021

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Location

Zoom

Address

Chicago, IL

M. Parafita Couto (Leiden University)

It is well known that bilinguals “mix” languages when they communicate with one another (Deuchar 2012). This is known as code-switching, as illustrated in (1), which was produced by a Papiamento-Dutch bilingual (Papiamento in bold, Dutch in italics):
(1) un               elftal      mixto
det.INDEF   eleven   mixed
a mixed eleven [football team]’ (Parafita Couto & Gullberg 2019)

The general consensus among researchers is that code-switching is not a random mix of languages, and that bilinguals intuitively regulate the switch points in their speech. Despite extensive research in this area (Myers-Scotton 2002, MacSwan 2005, Eppler 2010, Goldrick, Putnam & Schwarz 2016, Grimstad, Riksem, Lohndal & Åfarli 2018, López 2020, among others), no clear rules have been identified to explain the regularities underlying mixed speech. To a large extent, this is due to the fact that the existing data originate from different, non-comparable, methodologies and populations. Additionally, how the two languages are used and combined in a community (its “norms”) is an understudied factor influencing code-switching patterns. Especially unclear in this context is how children acquire these patterns through intergenerational transmission.

Focusing on the nominal and verbal domains, I will present findings from a series of comparative studies on different language pairs (e.g. Spanish-English, Welsh-English, Papiamento-Dutch, Spanish-Basque) that investigate how child and adult bilinguals from different communities representing different geographical settings, history and distributions of relative status of the language (e.g. Spanish-English in Miami, Nicaragua, Belize, New Mexico or Puerto Rico) produce, judge, or process bilingual structures. Linking linguistic, psycholinguistic and social considerations, I will highlight how these cross-community comparisons will allow us to disentangle the contribution of linguistic and extra-linguistic factors to the observed uniformity and variability of code-switching patterns.

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https://uic.zoom.us/j/9584007829?pwd=SHhYY3BWV0tLZ2c2U0VveXEvUWJFdz09

Meeting ID: 958 400 7829
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Contact

School of Literatures, Cultural Studies and Linguistics

Date posted

Jan 19, 2021

Date updated

Mar 1, 2021