Malinda Carpenter | University of St Andrews | Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Michael Tomasello | Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Duke University
Intra-sentential code-mixing presents a number of puzzles for theories of bilingualism. In this paper, we examine the code-mixed
English-German utterances of a young English-German-Spanish trilingual child between 1;10 – 3;1, using both an extensive diary
kept by the mother and audio recordings. We address the interplay between lexical and syntactic aspects of language use outlined
in the usage-based approach (e.g. Tomasello, 2003). The data suggest that partially
schematic constructions play an important role in the code-mixing of this child. In addition, we find, first, that the code-mixing
was not mainly the result of lexical gaps. Second, there was more mixing of German function words than content words. Third,
code-mixed utterances often consisted of the use of a partially schematic construction with the open slot filled by material from
the other language. These results raise a number of important issues for all theoretical approaches to code mixing, which we
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. Applied Linguistics Review 12:2 ► pp. 179 ff.
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2021. A gateway to complexity: A cross-linguistic comparison of child bilingual speech. International Journal of Bilingualism 25:3 ► pp. 800 ff.
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. Applied Linguistics Review 12:2 ► pp. 225 ff.
Quick, Antje Endesfelder & Anna Verschik
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