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Benchiba, Najat (2008) A structural analysis of Moroccan Arabic and English intra-sentential code switching. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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A phenomenon of language contact between different speech communities is that of code switching which is a result of language contact between speakers of diverse language(s) and/or dialect(s). The aim of this thesis is to quantitatively and qualitatively detail the grammatical outcomes of intra-sentential code switching in natural parsing by bilingual speakers of Moroccan Arabic and English in the UK and to assess the way in which the Matrix Language Frame Model (MLF) (Myers-Scotton 1993b, 2002) is a suitable linguistic model for bilingual discourse. Such natural switching is highly regularized and syntactic features are maintained through normal grammatical constraints as will be detailed. A description of grammatical approaches to code switching is outlined with focus on one particular model, the Matrix Language Frame the concept of which was first pioneered by Joshi (1985) and elaborated upon in further detail by Myers-Scotton (1993b, 2002). I also draw upon the Minimalist model MacSwan (1999) for further analysis of inter-language parameters and language universals with regard to constraints on code switching as well as comparisons made with the Monolingual Structure Approach (Boumans, 1998). It is not the aim of this thesis to advocate a one-size-fits-all approach to constraints on code switching as this has proved to be the Achilles heel of all theoretical approaches to code switching over the last few decades (Pfaff 1979, Poplack 1980, Di Sciullo, Muysken & Singh 1986, Bentahila & Davies 1983) but to validate and corroborate the viability of the Matrix Language Frame Model. Natural data of Moroccan Arabic and English code switched discourse collated for this thesis provide further empirical support required to test the validity of the Matrix Language Frame model well as providing a quantitative database for further research. I advocate my own set of eleven generalizations pertaining to intra-sentential code switching and highlight a new emerging speech style amongst second and third generation speakers I have termed Reactive Syntax where it becomes evident that innovative speech styles and syntactic strings of utterances highlight creativity amongst these generational groups. This thesis concludes with an evaluation of the data collated together with an examination of the suitability of the Matrix Language Frame Model and suggestions for further research.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:04

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