Notes for students and instructors

Study questions
1 Give three examples of code-switching involving the languages you know to illustrate the 'free morpheme constraint', and give three examples to illustrate the 'equivalent constraint'.
2 What are the criteria for the identification of the 'matrix language'?
3 How do the concepts of 'system morpheme' and 'content morpheme', as defined by Myers-Scotton and Jake, apply to a language other than English that you know?

Study activity

Using a sample of code-switching data-either collected by yourself or documented in detail by others-find out to what extent the grammatical constraints proposed by Poplack and others work. Can you identify any trigger words in the sample? How do the examples of code-switching in the sample fit into the Matrix Language Frame (MLF) model?


Further reading

For an overview of the grammar of code-switching, see S. Poplack and D. Sankoff, 1987, Code-switching, in U. Ammon, N. Dittmar and K. Mattheier (eds), Sociolinguistics: An international handbook of the science of language and society, volume 2, Walter de Gruyter, pp. 1174-80; C. Myers-Scotton, 1997,

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