General programme, activity sheet

Friday 8 September, 2017

Plenary Lecture

Head directionality constraints in very young child code-switching

Speaker: Maria Jose Ezeizabarrena, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)

Decades of research on language contact have yielded a wealth of evidence of language use contexts in which bilinguals produce conversations, utterances and even words containing elements of two or more language varieties. Such “mixed” utterances produced by children have been considered by some scholars as evidence of young bilinguals’ inability to separate two linguistic systems (lexicons and/or grammars), at least during their first years of life.
In this talk I will discuss findings of studies on child intra-sentential code-switching produced in contact situations of language pairs with a different degree of typological distance ( English-Spanish, Basque-Spanish, among others). Cross-linguistic data reveal that bilingual children are aware of the pragmatic constraints regulating code switching, but also that their mixed utterances are morpho-syntactically constrained (Liceras et al. 2008). Moreover, the typology of mixed structures attested (and non-attested) in early spontaneous corpora demonstrates that young bilinguals (even at pre-school ages) are equally as sensitive to morpho-syntactic features such as head directionality, word complexity or morphological marking when producing “mixed” utterances as they are when producing “pure” sentences (Köppe & Meisel 1995). Interestingly, child (and adult) mixed phrases containing elements of language pairs with the opposite head directionality such as in the case of Basque-Spanish DPs, VPs, PPs and CPs solve the “conflict” in a way which is consistent with Chan’s (2008) prediction that functional heads (rather than lexical ones) decide on the head-complement word order (Ezeizabarrena & Munarriz 2012). However, such constraints do not prevent differences occurring in some options of mixed utterances by bilinguals exposed to the same language pair.

08:30 - 11:30 / Workshop 1 - “Code switching and bilingualism”


Other activities in 08:30 - 11:30 / Workshop 1 - “Code switching and bilingualism”

Oral presentation

Code-switching and code-blending types and subtypes: towards a shared taxonomy

Speaker: Eleonora Marocchini, Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori di Pavia

Oral presentation

Fitting a monolingual solution to bilingual data: verb second

Speaker: Emma Vanden Wyngaerd, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Oral presentation

Factors governing code mixing in early bilingual acquisition: Dominance, language modes, and discourse strategies

Speaker: Dianna Walla, Norges Arktiske Universitet

Oral presentation

Code-blending and Contact Signing Among deaf ASL-English Bilinguals

Speaker: Marjorie Herbert, University of Michigan

Oral presentation

Constraints on Code-Blending: Distributions of Pointing Subjects and Objects in Bimodal Bilingual Children

Speaker: Diane Lillo-Martin, University of Connecticut