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The Uniformity of the Matrix Language in Classic Code-switching Alberto Rosignoli ESRC Centre for Research on Bilingualism Seminar Series Bangor 6 th April.

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Presentation on theme: "The Uniformity of the Matrix Language in Classic Code-switching Alberto Rosignoli ESRC Centre for Research on Bilingualism Seminar Series Bangor 6 th April."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Uniformity of the Matrix Language in Classic Code-switching Alberto Rosignoli ESRC Centre for Research on Bilingualism Seminar Series Bangor 6 th April 2009

2 A definition CODE-SWITCHING The alternation of two languages within a single discourse, sentence or costituent (Poplack 1980, 2000)

3 The concept of Asymmetry The languages involved in CS do not contribute equally to form bilingual utterances. The language source of different types of morphemes is constrained. ! Not a universal feature of CS theories.

4 Early work: Joshi 1985 Despite extensive intrasentential switching speakers and hearers usually agree on which language the mixed sentence is coming from. Matrix Language vs Embedded Language Existence of a control structure which allows shift from the ML to the EL. Nonswitchability of closed-class items.

5 The Matrix Language Frame Model Myers-Scotton (1993, 1997, 2002) Framework for the analysis of intrasentential CS A model of bilingual production Based on Levelts 1989 Speaking Model

6 Asymmetry in the MLF Asymmetry in the degree of participation of the languages involved Matrix Language (ML) Embedded Language (EL) Asymmetry in the retrieval procedures of morphemes Content morphemes System morphemes

7 4-M Model Content morpheme Early system morpheme Late bridge system morpheme Late outsider system morpheme Conceptually activated ++-- Theta role assigner/rec eiver +--- Looks outside max proj ---+

8 The MLF Unit of Analysis In 1993: the discourse as a whole After 1997: rejection of the discourse in favour of the CP (projection of complementiser) clause

9 The Matrix Language Principle There is always an analyzable or resolvable frame structuring the morphosyntax of any CP. This frame is called the Matrix Language. In bilingual speech, the participating languages never participate equally as the source of the Matrix Language. (Myers-Scotton, 2002: 8)

10 The Nature of the ML The ML is an abstract construct not to be identified with one of the participating languages. The ML is the bilingual realisation of the Uniform Structure Principle A given constituent type in any language has a uniform abstract structure and the requirements of well-formedness for this constituent type must be observed whenever the constituent appears. (Myers-Scotton 2002)

11 Classic CS In Classic CS only one of the participating languages is the source of the abstract morpho- syntactic frame of the bilingual CP. In other types of CS, both languages may contribute abstract structure. Ex. Mi oedd drws nesa pobl yn gwneud sloe gin PRT be.3s.past door next people PRT do.nonfin sloe gin The next-door people made sloe gin (Deuchar and Davies, 2009)

12 Identifying the ML: criteria Morpheme Order Criterion In Matrix Language + Embedded Language constituents consisting of singly occurring Embedded Language lexemes and any number of Matrix Language morphemes, surface morpheme order (reflecting surface syntactic relations) will be that of the Matrix Language. (Myers-Scotton, 1993a: 83; 2002: 59) Exti angen wneud fath-a rhedeg exercise you need.NONFIN do.NONFIN like run.NONFIN exercise You need to do, like, running exercise (Deuchar, 2006)

13 System Morpheme Criterion In Matrix Language + Embedded Language constituents, all system morphemes which have grammatical relations external to their head constituent […] will come from the Matrix Language. (Myers-Scotton, 1993a:83; 2002: 59) ExHe sells me their prenotazioni for their seats but not my ticket. reservations Identifying the ML: criteria

14 A Critique of the MLF (MacSwan 2000, 2005a, b) Nothing constrains code switching apart from the requirements of the mixed grammars. CS is the union of two lexicons No constraints specific to bilingual speech (no ML). Grammaticality of mixed utterances can be ascertained through checking of features.

15 Feature-checking The case of Spanish-English DPs (Moro 2001) a.D, phi = {person, number, gender} N, phi ={person, number, gender} lacasa b.D, phi = {person, number} N, phi ={person, number} thehouse c.D, phi = {person, number, gender} N, phi ={person, number} lahouse d.D, phi = {person, number} N, phi ={person, number, gender} *thecasa

16 A comparison Matrix Language FrameMinimalist Program Asymmetry between participating languages. In bilingual CPs where Spanish is the ML DETs will come from Spanish. English DETs will occur in bilingual DPs where English is the ML. No asymmetry between participating languages. In bilingual CPs DETs will always come from Spanish (see feature mismatch). English DETs will not occur in bilingual DPs.

17 Feature checking cont. The non-occurrence of NPs of the type the casa in available data could be due to factors other than feature mismatch. The argument relies partially on grammaticality judgments by simultaneous bilinguals.

18 A MLF case study: Smith 2006 Spanish-English community in the US 56 speakers (10-20 mins per conversation) The asymmetry between the ML and the EL in a single utterance is replicated in the speech of an entire community in which the community ML is […] Spanish and the community EL is English.

19 Results

20 E> Sinsert maestro y a ónde vamos a ir al swimmin onde onde? teacher and to where to go to+the swimming where where Teacher, and where are we going to go swimming where where? S> Einsert I dont want those (NOS?/NOSE?)* como three horns I dont want those (nos?/nose?) like three horns

21 The ML as a dynamic construct Because the ML is defined at the level of the CP, it is assumed that the language providing the source of the ML could change (as an extreme case) even within the same sentence, from one CP to the following. This, however, rarely seems to be the case in the available data Myers-Scotton 1993 (Swahili-English) Finlayson et al 1998 (Zulu-Sotho-English) Boussofara Omar 2003 (Standard/Tunisian Arabic) Owens 2005 (Standard/Nigerian Arabic-Hausa-English) Smith 2006 (Spanish-English) Deuchar 2006 (Welsh-English)

22 Extended use of the ML ML is the same for every CP ML changes at every successive CP Not accounted for in the MLF Most data show far less variability as regards the source of the ML than the model allows. Myers-Scotton (2002) ML of the discourse Smith (2006) Community ML

23 Problems with the MLF The ML as a dynamic construct The CP as the unit of analysis Analysis of well-formed CPs !Uniformity of the ML !ML beyond the CP !Naturalistic data

24 A shift of perspective? Uniformity in ML assignment in bilingual CPs is the factor that justifies the extended use of the ML construct. Rather than imprecise applications, these uses are capturing a generalisation that the model does not explain. Motivation is normally found within a sociolinguistic framework (e.g. Markedness)

25 CS studies on a continuum Micro-level (syntax) Macro-level (sociolinguistics) Conversational structure?

26 A conversation analysis perspective Interest in the issue of the base language of the conversation Part of the overall organisation of the discourse Different coverage of naturalistic data No well-formedness requirements Problematising the notion of code in language alternation What counts as a code for participants?

27 A typology of code-alternation (Auer) Discourse-related Participant- related Insertionxx Code-switchingxx Change of the base language

28 *SAR:vabbé no io è un po che non vado al cinema. (well no I havent been to the cinema in a while) 0 [>]. *SAR:però [ ]. (but as you know I havent got time to do anything) *ANT: [<] ? (hows the PhD going?) gonna [: going to] go finish it ? *SAR:ah PhD eh ho avuto un momento brutto # mercoledì [>]. (ah PhD I had a bad moment on Wednesday) *ANT:perché [<] ? (why?) *SAR:perché: Laura Layton era incazzata con tutti mercoledì. (because Laura Layton was pissed off with everyone on Wednesday) &e: hmm &e: stava per scoppiare. (hmm uuh and she was about to burst)

29 infatti ieri ho parlato con altra gente mi fan+"/. (actually yesterday I spoke to some others and they were like) +"/ è arrivata a un punto che neanche lei non ne può più. (shes come to the stage where she herself cant take it anymore) *ANT:in che senso [>] ? (how do you mean?) *SAR:perché ha le sue deadline per [<] mese. (because shes got her own deadlines at the end of the month) *ANT:hmm. *SAR:e: ha tutti (que)sti studenti # ehm dieci st(udenti) [//] dieci PhD students # e: [>1]. (and she has all these students ehm ten st(udents) ten PhD students) *ANT: [ [>2]. (she too cant take it anymore) *SAR:e non ce la fa più perché ognuno ha unproblema. (she cant take it anymore because everyone has got a problem)

30 *SAR:e allora gli ho detto che appunto [//] avevo ricevuto questo invito da Catherine. (so I told him right that I inv(ited) that I received this invitation from Catherine) Catherine [/] era la supervisor di: ehm Paul [>]. (Catherine was Pauls supervisor) *ANT:ah [<] sì sì. (ah yes yes) *SAR:hmm. che abita qua intorno [>]. (who lives around here) *ANT:hmm [<]. *SAR:e allora fa: (so he goes like) +/ma ha detto che ha [//] fa il compleanno perché ha raggiunto: quell'età in cui c'è zero no. (so she said shes having her birthday because she got to that age in which there is zero, right)

31 *ANT:mhmm [>] ? *SAR: [<] +/. (so she goes like) *SAR:+/ zero # c'è lo z(ero) [/] zero in it. (zero # theres zero in it) *SAR e: e allora [>]. (and and then) *ANT:forty. [<] *SAR:four # e allora [?] +"/. (four # and so she goes but) +"/ you have to guess [>]. *ANT:hmm [<]. *SAR:mi ha detto +"/. (she said to me) +"/ e: you have to guess ehm quanti anni ho. (uuh you have to guess uhm what my age is) ehm: allora ho pensato io +"/. (uhm and so I thought) +"/ sarà quaranta. (she must be forty) *ANT:hmm [>]. *SAR:non [<] penso che ne abbia cinquanta # e neanche trenta. (I dont think shes fifty or even thirty)

32 The future… Comparing the two frameworks, with particular reference to data covered by both (using English-Italian data) Assess whether the contribution of a CA-type approach can offer a satisfactory explanation for the regularities encountered in CS that the MLF cannot readily account for. Can a CA approach reveal whether a switched item counts as such for participants themselves?

33 Thanks to Present (and past) members of the ESRC Bilingualism Centre Corpus Based Research Group and AHRC project Margaret Deuchar Maria del Carmen Parafita Couto Dirk Bury Peredur Davies Jon Herring Sian Lloyd Elen Robert Jonathan Stammers

34 Grazie Diolch Thank you

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