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Title: Codeswitching and language dominance in Singapore.
Authors: Foo, Claire Mei Zhi.
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: Much codeswitching research has focused on structural constraints and motivations that affect codeswitching, but few have dealt with codeswitching in relation with language dominance. This is because language dominance has been largely assumed to affect codeswitching, but its correlations with codeswitching remains unclear. This study aims to uncover the link between language dominance and codeswitching patterns, specifically through codeswitched nouns and verbs of English-Chinese bilinguals in Singapore. We will attempt to answer three questions in this study. Firstly, this study is interested in whether reported dominant language equates to the matrix language, as proposed by Myers-Scottons Matrix Language Frame. Secondly, codeswitched nouns and verbs are quantified in the data to see if they belong to the nondominant language, showing directionality of codeswitching from dominant to non-dominant language. Lastly, overall directionality of intra-sentential codeswitching is investigated in the data to investigate if codeswitching indeed operates from the dominant language to the nondominant language. Through a questionnaire and recorded natural codeswitching speech from six English-Chinese bilingual university students in Singapore, codeswitched nouns and verbs are investigated from three hours of recorded data. This study discovers that language dominance is a factor that affects codeswitching directionality, but does not prove to be the main factor. Language asymmetry presents a greater factor where characteristics of English and Chinese affect codeswitching patterns and directionality. Poplack’s Equivalence Constraint also shows to play a part in explaining codeswitching patterns.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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