LINGUIST List 26.3261

Mon Jul 13 2015

Calls: Sociolinguistics; Syntax/ Languages (Jrnl)

Editor for this issue: Andrew Lamont <>

Date: 13-Jul-2015
From: Osmer Balam <>
Subject: Sociolinguistics; Syntax/ Languages (Jrnl)
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Full Title: Languages

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics; Syntax

Call Deadline: 30-Sep-2015

Special Issue Title: Mixed Verbs and Linguistic Creativity in Bi/multilingual Communities

Guest Editors

Dr. Usha Lakshmanan (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
Mr. Osmer Balam (University of Florida)
Dr. Tej Bhatia (Syracuse University)


In the spirit of Robert Le Page and Andrée Tabouret-Keller's conceptualization of languages as abstractions of what people do, this special issue focuses on mixed verbs (also known as bilingual compound verbs, bilingual complex verbs, light verb constructions or do-constructions). We use here the term 'mixed verbs' to refer to innovative bi/multilingual verbs, where, typically, an inflected light verb (free or bound) from one language, often 'do', is used alongside an other-language bare stem or infinitive/participle verb, which contributes the lexical meaning. While these mixed verbs have received scholarly attention from researchers such as E. Annamalai, Ad Backus, Tej Bhatia and William Ritchie, Penelope Gardner-Chloros, Pieter Muysken, and others, to our knowledge, no special issue has specifically focused on the investigation of these constructions, which are attested across continents and language families, in both monolingual and/or bi/multilingual speech.

The manifestation of this cross-linguistic phenomenon in bi/multilingual contexts where language mixing is routinely practiced, remains poorly understood (for relevant discussions, see the work of Osmer Balam; Bhatia and Ritchie). While there is substantial research that examines language mixing in the nominal domain, relatively less research on mixing in the verbal domain has been conducted. A central concern of this special issue is the exploration of the ways mixed verbs, as crucial nuclei of clausal or sentence structure, are integrated either in oral or written mixed discourse. Of similar importance is unraveling how bi/multilinguals across language contact situations negotiate, both synchronically and diachronically, the manipulation of pre-existing strategies in their languages and universal mechanisms to make optimal use of their linguistic resources.

We invite papers (either conceptually or empirically based) that further develop our synchronic and/or diachronic understanding of the innovative morphosyntactic, lexico-semantic and pragmatic features of mixed verbs, while also advancing our knowledge of bi/multilingualism in relation to concomitant social, linguistic and cognitive factors.

We are particularly interested in the following issues:

(i) comparative analyses of typologically diverse language contact situations (from an individual and/or societal perspective) where mixed verbs are used
(ii) the development and use of these innovations by different bi/multilingual populations, including children, adults, etc., individuals with language disorders (e.g., aphasia and Specific Language Impairment)
(iii) the processing of mixed verbs versus monolingual verbs (from the perspective of either human language processing or automated bi/multilingual parsing and translation)
(iv) the use of mixed verbs in public spaces such as billboards, advertising, as well as literature, social media, political speeches, and other naturalistic corpora

We are open to other related aspects and contexts as well and welcome analyses from different theoretical frameworks and approaches.

Page Updated: 10-Aug-2015