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Dissertation Information


Title: Deriving Word Order in Code-Switching: Feature inheritance and word order Add Dissertation
Author: Ji Young Shim Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Degree Awarded: CUNY Graduate Center , Linguistics
Completed in:
2013
Linguistic Subfield(s): Syntax
Subject Language(s): English
Japanese
Korean
Director(s): William McClure
Peter Sells
Marcel den Dikken
Dianne Bradley

Abstract: This dissertation investigates code-switching (CS), the concurrent use of more
than one language in conversation, commonly observed in bilingual speech.
Assuming that code-switching is subject to universal principles, just like
monolingual grammar, the dissertation provides a principled account of code-
switching, with particular emphasis on OV~VO variation in two typologically
similar language pairs, Korean-English and Japanese-English bilingual speech.
Taking the view into consideration that linguistic variation is a result of variation in
the domain of functional categories rather than lexical roots (e.g., Borer 1984;
Chomsky 1995), the role of light verbs in word order in code-switching is further
investigated and tested against Korean-English and Japanese-English bilingual
speakers‘ introspective judgments of the code-switching patterns presented to
them in the form of a questionnaire.

The results provide strong evidence indicating that the distinction between lexical
and functional or light verbs play a major role in deriving different word order, OV
and VO in Korean-English and Japanese-English code-switching, respectively,
supporting the hypothesis that parametric variation is attributed to differences in
the features of a functional category in the lexicon. In particular, the explanation
pursued in this dissertation is based on feature inheritance, proposed in recent
developments the Minimalist Program. To account for OV~VO variation in
Korean-English and Japanese-English code-switching, feature inheritance,
primarily proposed for the C-T domain by Chomsky (2000, 2001, 2008), is
extended to the v-ASP domain, thereby developing it into a full-fledged
mechanism for the two phases, C and v, of the clause. Two principles of feature
inheritance (feature selection and feature expiration) and three operational rules
(earliness, economy, and multiple agree under antisymmetry) are proposed to
show that feature inheritance is designed to make a derivation proceed
economically and efficiently in the syntax.

Based on this, the dissertation presents how head-initial structure in English (C-
S-V-O) and head-final structure (S-O-V-C) in Korean and Japanese are derived,
and argues that the OV-VO variation in Korean-English and Japanese-English
code-switching is due to a result of object shift: if object shift occurs, OV is
derived. On the other hand, if object shift fails, the underlying VO structure will
surface.