Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics

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Bridges Over Troubled Waters: Theoretical Linguistics And Multilingualism Research

P Muysken


This paper tries to construct a bridge between the concerns of theoretical linguistics and those of multilingualism and code-switching (CS) research. It argues that the primary special point of interaction between these fields lies in the question of potential equivalence between elements or categories, bridging across languages. After giving an overview of some major findings in recent CS research, these findings are interpreted in a constraint- or strategy-based framework. Then I explore the notion of categorical equivalence, starting with the observation that the insertion of single functional categories is highly restricted in CS contexts. Subsequently a number of concrete questions are formulated for research in this domain based on available data for Afrikaans-English and isiXhosa- English CS.

Keywords: code-switching, categorical equivalence, functional categories, isiXhosa, Afrikaans, English
AJOL African Journals Online