Chapter 11

Matching lemmas in a bilingual language competence and production model: evidence from intrasentential code-switching

CAROL MYERS-SCOTTON AND JANICE L.JAKE


1

Introduction

This chapter has three related goals. First we show that how language pairs behave in code-switching provides evidence for certain types of salient congruence between languages. The analysis assumes the matrix language frame model (MLF model) for code-switching and provides elaborations and extensions of this model (Myers-Scotton, 1993a). Second, based on this evidence, we make proposals about the nature and organization of language production. Third, while the chapter focuses its discussion on production, proposals in this area imply details of a model of language competence. Many language production models include three levels; these are the conceptual, functional, and positional levels. At the conceptual level, intentions are “bundled” into semantic and pragmatic features associated with lexemes. At the functional level, morphosyntactic directions encoding the predicate-argument structure are activated. At the positional level, lexemes are realized in a surface structure. Our proposals deal largely with the first two levels and relate specifically to producing bilingual language. However, we argue that the same organization of language production holds for monolingual discourse.

Data discussed here come from code-switching (CS). Most briefly and generally, CS is defined as the use of two or more languages in the same discourse. From a structural point of view, there are two types of CS, inter sentential and intrasentential. Our interest here is only in intrasentential CS, because it is only there that the grammars of the two languages are in contact. A more explicit definition of intrasentential CS follows below.

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