General programme, activity sheet

Friday 19 September, 2014 09:30 to 10:00 Oral presentation
Subject-verb code-switched structures: Are all subjects created equal?
Authors: Juana M. Liceras, University of Ottawa, Raquel Fernández Fuertes, Universidad de Valladolid and Anahí Alba de la Fuente, Université de Montréal


Van Gelderen & MacSwan (2008) argue that the different grammatical status of the switches in (1) and (2) is due to the violation of the P(honological) F(orm) Disjunction Theorem which rules out code-switching below Xº. Because pronouns undergo D-to-T movement, the mixed-language complex head in (2) crashes at PF. With the strong pronouns in (3)-(4), the PF Disjunction Theorem would not be violated because they behave like DPs. Koronkiewicz (2012) argues that, when it comes to code-switching, standard position pronouns in (5) and non-standard position pronouns in (6) behave differently. In this paper, we discuss code-switching acceptability judgment data elicited from a group of adult L2 (subsequent Spanish L1-English L2) bilinguals, a group of child 2L1 (simultaneous English-Spanish) bilinguals and a group of child L2 (subsequent Spanish L1-English L2) bilinguals. We show that Spanish third person standard position pronouns significantly differ from their English counterparts. To account for this difference, we propose an agreement version of the so-called “analogical criterion” that has been shown to underlie code-switching preferences (Liceras et al. 2008) in concord structures such as those in (7) and (8). We argue, following Pesetsky & Torrego’s (2001) double feature valuation hypothesis, that both English and Spanish third person standard position pronouns require the valuation of their agreement feature on the verb and the verb requires to value the nominative feature on the pronoun. However, while the Spanish pronoun can value its agreement feature on the English verb (it is morphologically marked with an –s), the English pronoun cannot value its nominative feature because the Spanish third person verb lacks any morphological marking, as shown in (9) and (10). Thus, we argue that the need to value the agreement feature borne by the Spanish pronoun (to abide by this version of the “analogical criterion”) supersedes the PF Disjunction Theorem.
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Paper session D2
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