Morphological and syntactical aspects of Romanian/ English codeswitching
Keywords:bilingualism, codeswitching, morphological integration, word order
This paper examines the grammatical structure of Romanian/ English codeswitching in the speech of a ten-year-old bilingual child. The analyzed data set consists of single-word switches and phrases, the main focus of the paper being the morphological integration of these English elements in Romanian and the relations they establish with their larger syntactic environment. Using the principles of the Matrix Language Frame model developed by Myers-Scotton (2002, 2006), we show that the structural integrity of Romanian is maintained during codeswitching, and that the English material is used according to the rules imposed by the Romanian grammar. Although Romanian inflectional morphology is often absent on switched words and phrases, the placement of these elements in the grammatical frame of the sentence follows matrix language specifications and word order; moreover, function words in mixed constituents, such as determiners and prepositions, tend to come from Romanian.
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