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Grammatical Theory and Bilingual Codeswitching$
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Jeff MacSwan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027892

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027892.001.0001

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Language Dominance and Codeswitching Asymmetries

Language Dominance and Codeswitching Asymmetries

(p.283) 12 Language Dominance and Codeswitching Asymmetries
Grammatical Theory and Bilingual Codeswitching

Ana Teresa Pérez-Leroux

Erin O’Rourke

Gretchen Sunderman

The MIT Press

In this study on codeswitching, we examine how the dominant language of a speaker may affect how quickly a bilingual will process a codeswitch at different junctures within a given phrase. In an online experiment, participants were given four different switch points (NP-VP, pro-VP, V-Comp, and Comp-IP) in two bilingual guises (Spanish-English, English-Spanish) and two monolingual guises (all Spanish, all English). While the first switch point is considered to be grammatical, the remaining three are under debate, including some accounts that favor V-Comp and others that exclude Comp-IP. Results indicate that while some delay was observed for the latter three switch points, a significant difference appeared in particular with Spanish-dominant bilinguals switching from Spanish into English in the Comp-IP condition. In this way, we explore the extent to which some constraints on codeswitching are universal and the factors that may affect the application of these constraints. These data support the need to incorporate language dominance into models of codeswitching.

Keywords:   dominance, bilingual, codeswitching, constraint, online

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