Conflict sites in Spanish-English mixed nominal constructions: Testing alternative predictions

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Conflict sites in Spanish-English mixed nominal constructions: Testing alternative predictions

Type: Master thesis
Title: Conflict sites in Spanish-English mixed nominal constructions: Testing alternative predictions
Author: Korver, Belinda
Issue Date: 2016-08
Keywords: code-switching
Spanish-English
bilingualism
Puerto Rico
determiner-noun
adjective-noun
gender
Abstract: This thesis investigates mixed nominal constructions, both complex (with an adjective) and simplex. Such constructions create potential conflict sites in Spanish-English code-switching. Spanish and English differ for (1) adjective-noun order: Spanish typically has post-nominal adjectives, whereas English has pre-nominal adjectives, and (2) grammatical gender: Spanish has a binary gender system, while English does not. A multi-task method was conducted in the Spanish-English bilingual community in Puerto Rico. The tasks comprised of an elicitation task (cf. director-matcher task, Gullberg, Indefrey, and Muysken 2008) and an auditory grammaticality judgment task. The predictions from the Matrix Language Framework (MLF, Myers-Scotton 2002) and a minimalist analysis from Cantone and MacSwan (2009) are tested against the collected data. The results from both tasks tend to indicate that the Matrix Language approach provides better predictions than the minimalist approach in every respect except for adjective-noun order constructions in the judgment task. This slight preference, however, is not significant. Toy task results for gender assignment in Spanish determiners indicate that there is a preference for the assignment of default gender, i.e. masculine in Spanish, rather than gender that is analogue to the translation equivalent of the noun. This preference is confirmed by judgment task results that include simple nominal constructions, but not by judgment task results for complex nominal constructions. I assume that adjectival presence in complex nominal constructions may have to do with this. Implications of my results for the theories and the methodologies are discussed.
Supervisor: Parafita Couto, Maria del CarmenSmakman, Dick
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Latin American Studies (Master)
Specialisation: Language Variation and Bilingualism
ECTS Credits: 20
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/42550
 

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