Code-switching: a touchstone of models of bilingual language production

Purmohammad, Mehdi (2015). Code-switching: a touchstone of models of bilingual language production. (Dissertation, University of Bern, Faculty of Humanities, Center for the Study of Language and Society (CSLS))

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The goal of the present thesis was to investigate the production of code-switched utterances in bilinguals’ speech production. This study investigates the availability of grammatical-category information during bilingual language processing. The specific aim is to examine the processes involved in the production of Persian-English bilingual compound verbs (BCVs). A bilingual compound verb is formed when the nominal constituent of a compound verb is replaced by an item from the other language. In the present cases of BCVs the nominal constituents are replaced by a verb from the other language. The main question addressed is how a lexical element corresponding to a verb node can be placed in a slot that corresponds to a noun lemma. This study also investigates how the production of BCVs might be captured within a model of BCVs and how such a model may be integrated within incremental network models of speech production. In the present study, both naturalistic and experimental data were used to investigate the processes involved in the production of BCVs. In the first part of the present study, I collected 2298 minutes of a popular Iranian TV program and found 962 code-switched utterances. In 83 (8%) of the switched cases, insertions occurred within the Persian compound verb structure, hence, resulting in BCVs. As to the second part of my work, a picture-word interference experiment was conducted. This study addressed whether in the case of the production of Persian-English BCVs, English verbs compete with the corresponding Persian compound verbs as a whole, or whether English verbs compete with the nominal constituents of Persian compound verbs only. Persian-English bilinguals named pictures depicting actions in 4 conditions in Persian (L1). In condition 1, participants named pictures of action using the whole Persian compound verb in the context of its English equivalent distractor verb. In condition 2, only the nominal constituent was produced in the presence of the light verb of the target Persian compound verb and in the context of a semantically closely related English distractor verb. In condition 3, the whole Persian compound verb was produced in the context of a semantically unrelated English distractor verb. In condition 4, only the nominal constituent was produced in the presence of the light verb of the target Persian compound verb and in the context of a semantically unrelated English distractor verb. The main effect of linguistic unit was significant by participants and items. Naming latencies were longer in the nominal linguistic unit compared to the compound verb (CV) linguistic unit. That is, participants were slower to produce the nominal constituent of compound verbs in the context of a semantically closely related English distractor verb compared to producing the whole compound verbs in the context of a semantically closely related English distractor verb. The three-way interaction between version of the experiment (CV and nominal versions), linguistic unit (nominal and CV linguistic units), and relation (semantically related and unrelated distractor words) was significant by participants. In both versions, naming latencies were longer in the semantically related nominal linguistic unit compared to the response latencies in the semantically related CV linguistic unit. In both versions, naming latencies were longer in the semantically related nominal linguistic unit compared to response latencies in the semantically unrelated nominal linguistic unit. Both the analysis of the naturalistic data and the results of the experiment revealed that in the case of the production of the nominal constituent of BCVs, a verb from the other language may compete with a noun from the base language, suggesting that grammatical category does not necessarily provide a constraint on lexical access during the production of the nominal constituent of BCVs. There was a minimal context in condition 2 (the nominal linguistic unit) in which the nominal constituent was produced in the presence of its corresponding light verb. The results suggest that generating words within a context may not guarantee that the effect of grammatical class becomes available. A model is proposed in order to characterize the processes involved in the production of BCVs. Implications for models of bilingual language production are discussed.

Item Type:

Thesis (Dissertation)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Other Institutions > Walter Benjamin Kolleg (WBKolleg) > Center for the Study of Language and Society (CSLS)

UniBE Contributor:

Purmohammad, Mehdi and Vorwerg, Constanze

Subjects:

400 Language
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
000 Computer science, knowledge & systems

Language:

English

Submitter:

Igor Hammer

Date Deposited:

31 May 2016 15:14

Last Modified:

31 May 2016 15:14

URN:

urn:nbn:ch:bel-bes-2160

Additional Information:

e-Dissertation (edbe)

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.83451

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/83451

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