Maria Carmen Parafita Couto

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Maria Carmen Parafita Couto

Leiden University


Methodologies for the study of code-switching

Most researchers agree that code-switching is not a random mix of languages, but that it is rule-governed. However, the debate regarding the precise rules governing code-switching remains unresolved, especially as evidence for the different theories (e.g. MacSwan, 2005, 2009; Myers-Scotton, 2002; Myers- Scotton & Jake, 2009) is based on different methods and populations. In this talk I will provide a general overview of the different methodologies available to evaluate which factors determine the resolution of grammatical conflict in bilingual speech. Some of the data gathering methods will be described, from most naturalistic methods (corpus data) to most experimental ones, such as (semi-spontaneous) elicitation behavioral tasks and acceptability judgment tasks or more novel methods such as the electrophysiological responses measured by means of event related potentials. I will discuss how the data obtained through these different methods may cast light on linguistic theory.

Suggested readings:

Overview of different techniques

Gullberg, M., Indefrey, P., & Muysken, P. (2009). Research techniques for the study of code-switching. In B. E. Bullock & A. J. Toribio (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook on linguistic code-switching,. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 21–39.

Corpora and elicitation techniques

Deuchar M., Davies P., Herring J., Parafita Couto M. C. & Carter D. (2014). Building Bilingual Corpora. In: Thomas E., Mennen I. (Eds.) Advances in the Study of Bilingualism. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 93-110.

Parafita Couto M.C. & Gullberg M. (2017). Code-switching within the noun phrase: Evidence from three corpora. The International Journal of Bilingualism. DOI 10.1177/1367006917729543

MacSwan, J. & McAlister, K. T. (2010). Naturalistic and elicited data in grammatical studies of codeswitching. Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 3, 521-532.

Grammaticality judgment tasks

Badiola, L., Delgado, R., Sande, A., & Stefanich, S. (2018). Code-switching attitudes and their effects on acceptability judgment tasks. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 7(5).

González-Vilbazo, K., Bartlett, L., S. Downey, S. Ebert, J. Heil, B. Hoot, B. Koronkiewicz & Ramos, S. (2013). Methodological considerations in code-switching research. Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 6, 119-138.

Ebert, S. & Koronkiewicz, B. (2018). Monolingual stimuli and the analysis of code-switching. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 7(5).      

Stadthagen-González, H., López, L., Parafita Couto, M. C., & Párraga, A. C. (2018). Using two-alternative forced choice tasks and Thurstone’s Law of Comparative Judgment for Acceptability Judgments: Examining the Adjacency Condition in Spanish/English Code-Switched Sentences. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 7(5).

Behavioural, eye-tracking and electrophysiological approaches 

Parafita Couto M.C., Boutonnet B., Hoshino N., Davies P., Deuchar M. & Thierry G. (2017), Testing Alternative Theoretical Accounts of Code-Switching using Event-related Brain Potentials: A Pilot Study on Welsh-English. In Lauchlan, F. & Parafita Couto, M.C. Bilingualism and minority languages in Europe: Current trends and developments. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars. 242-256.

Van Hell, J., Fernandez, C. B., Kootstra, G. J., Litcofsky, K. A., & Ting, C. Y. (2018). Electrophysiological and experimental-behavioral approaches to the study of intra-sentential code-switching. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 7(5).

Valdés Kroff, J. R., Guzzardo Tamargo, R. E., & Dussias, P. E. (2018). Experimental contributions of eye-tracking to the understanding of comprehension processes while hearing and reading code-switches. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 7(5).   

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