New paper on code-switching!

Published 13 February 2023
old typewriter with paper in it with text that says "news"

Code-switching, or the use of two languages within a single coherent utterance, is a hallmark of bilingual language use. It also sheds light on the workings of the bilingual language system, providing an indication of how bilinguals manage the integration and separation of their two languages.

Code-switching is generally dispreferred at points of non-shared word order across a bilingual's two languages. In priming studies, this dispreference persists even following exposure to a code-switched non-shared-word-order utterance. The present study delves deeper into the scope of code-switching priming by investigating whether lexical repetition across target and prime, a factor known to boost structural priming, can increase code-switching at points of word order divergence. Afrikaans–English bilinguals (n=46) heard prime sentences in which word order, lexical repetition, and switch position were manipulated and subsequently produced code-switched picture descriptions. The results show that lexical repetition boosts the priming of code-switching in a non-shared word order. The findings demonstrate that code-switching in production is affected by a dynamic interplay between factors both language-internal (i.e., word order) and language-external (i.e., priming, and specifically lexical repetition).

Berghoff, R., Gullberg, M., & Kootstra, G.J. (2023). Structural priming of codeswitches in non-shared-word-order utterances: The effect of lexical repetition. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 1–14. (E-pub ahead of print)