A systematic comparison of factors affecting the choice of matrix language in three bilingual communities

Diana Carter, Margaret Deuchar, Peredur Davies, Maria Del Carmen Parafita Couto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper we compare the code-switching (CS) patterns in three bilingual corpora collected in Wales, Miami and Patagonia, Argentina. Using the Matrix Language Framework to do a clause-based analysis of a sample of data, we consider the impact of structural relationships and extra-linguistic factors on CS patterns. We find that the Matrix Language (ML) is uniform where the language pairs have contrasting word orders, as in Welsh-English (VSO-SVO) and WelshSpanish (VSO-SVO) but diverse where the word order is similar as in Spanish-English (SVOSVO). We find that the diversity of the ML in Miami is related to the diversity of degrees of proficiency, ethnic identities, and social networks amongst members of that community, while the uniformity of the ML in Wales is related to the uniformity of these factors. This is not so clear in Patagonia, however, where there is little CS produced in conversation. We suggest that the members of the speech community use Spanish or Welsh mostly in a monolingual mode, depending on the interlocutor and the social situation.
LanguageEnglish
Pages153-183
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Language Contact
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint

language
community
social situation
ethnic identity
Argentina
social network
conversation
Language
linguistics
Code-switching
Uniformity
Wales
Miami
Patagonia
Social Networks
Interlocutors
Ethnic Identity
Clause
Proficiency
Social Situation

Keywords

  • bilingual communities
  • monolingual
  • Spanish language
  • code-switching

Cite this

Carter, Diana ; Deuchar, Margaret ; Davies, Peredur ; Parafita Couto, Maria Del Carmen. / A systematic comparison of factors affecting the choice of matrix language in three bilingual communities. In: Journal of Language Contact. 2011 ; Vol. 4, No. 2. pp. 153-183.
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A systematic comparison of factors affecting the choice of matrix language in three bilingual communities. / Carter, Diana; Deuchar, Margaret; Davies, Peredur; Parafita Couto, Maria Del Carmen.

In: Journal of Language Contact, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2011, p. 153-183.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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