||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
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
Implications of my results for the theories and the methodologies are discussed.