Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

E-mail this page

Conference Information

Full Title: Confronting Codeswitching Theories with Corpus and Experimental Data

Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Start Date: 10-Sep-2017 - 13-Sep-2017
Contact: Evangelia Adamou
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: Various theoretical frameworks have made a number of generalizations and predictions about the patterns found in intraclausal codeswitching across a variety of bi/multilingual settings. Although many cross-linguistic patterns have been observed and successfully predicted by these theories, increasing amounts of corpus and experimental data are providing challenges to the explanatory power of these theories. The aim of this workshop is to gather specialists of bilingualism and language contact who will bring new corpus and experimental data to competing theories of codeswitching.

Different approaches have been taken to predict potential switch-sites in intraclausal codeswitching. Some utilize existing formal syntactic theories (DiSciullo & Muysken 1986; McSwan 1999), and others base predictions on theory-specific morphological types, most notably the 4-M model of codeswitching (Myers-Scotton 1993, 2002; Myers-Scotton & Jake 2016; Deuchar 2006). Many predictions made by these models, particularly the 4-M model, are also reflected in the borrowing literature (e.g. Weinreich (1974 [1953]; Thomason & Kaufman 1988; Gardani 2008). Where aberrant cases of switches occur, the typological congruence of the languages in contact is often claimed to trump these universal constraints (Muysken 2000; Sebba 1998; Meakins 2014; Meakins & O’Shannessy 2012). These approaches have stressed that switch points are largely determined by absolute typological constraints, as well as by the typological match of the languages in contact. Despite the relative success of these approaches, counter-examples exist in the literature (Adamou & Granqvist 2015; Adamou 2016; Meakins 2011).

More recent formal approaches are attempting to link bilingual data to linguistic theory (Muysken 2012; Benmamoun, Montrul & Polinsky 2013a, 2013b). For example, the Interface Hypothesis (Sorace 2011) predicts that bilingualism is more likely to affect linguistic structures made up of more than one component, namely external interfaces involving syntax and pragmatics. Nonetheless, it appears that the Interface Hypothesis alone cannot account for a variety of datasets, and more criteria need to be (re-)introduced, such as structural complexity and memory capacity (Laleko & Polinsky in press).

In contrast, probabilistic approaches to codeswitching predict that higher levels of abstraction are shaped by language practices. Such studies have a long tradition in the variationist framework (Poplack 1980; Poplack & Dion 2012; Torres Cacoullos & Travis 2015, 2016) and more recently in usage-based approaches (Backus 2015). Finally, Matras (2009) offers an approach that combines language processing requirements, communication goals, and community-level practices.


Evangelia Adamou (CNRS, France)
Felicity Meakins (U-Queensland, Australia)
Linguistic Subfield: General Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Psycholinguistics; Typology
LL Issue: 27.3965

This is a session of the following meeting:
50th Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea

Calls and Conferences main page