UIC TiL: Ji Young Shim

Join us at our next Talks in Linguistics (TiL)!

This Friday March 30th Ji Young Shim from the CUNY graduate center will be giving a talk entitled ‘A Minimalist Account of Word Order Variation in Code-switching’.

When: Friday March 30th at 3pm

Where: University Hall (601 S. Morgan Street, Chicago, IL 60607) 1750

We hope to see you there!

For more information, contact: Daniel Vergara (dverga3@uic.edu), Sergio
Ramos (sramos@uic.edu) or Bernie Issa (issa2@uic.edu).

Here is an abstract from his work.

A Minimalist Account of Word Order Variation in Code-switching
Ji Young Shim; CUNY Graduate Center

Under the assumption that monolingual and bilingual grammars are subject
to the same principles, the present study aims to provide a principled
account of word order variation in code-switching (CS). Cross-linguistic
CS data show that not only can a switch occur between languages with
different canonical word orders, such as an OV language (e.g., Japanese,
Korean) and a VO language (e.g., English), but the internal order of a
code-switched constituent may also vary, exhibiting either order of the
two languages involved in CS. One immediate question arises as to how
these different word orders are distributed and derived. The present study
employs three different experimental tasks, which are tested against
Korean-English and Japanese-English bilingual speakers’ introspective
judgments of the CS patterns that are presented to them in the form of a
The statistical results from 34 Korean-English bilinguals show that both
the distinction between light and heavy verbs within a code-switched
constituent and the difference between literal and non-literal/idiomatic
meaning of the phrase play a role to derive different word orders in CS,
which reveals that syntax alone cannot account for the various word order
patterns in CS, but both syntax (particularly, the syntax of light verbs,
which differs from language to language) and meaning (the semantic
compositionality of a phrase) contribute to OV-VO variation in CS. We also
found that there is a correlation between the preferred word order and the
syntactic flexibility of a code-switched constituent.
Based on the findings of the tests, the study proposes a syntactic account
of OV and VO derivation in Korean-English and Japanese-English CS in the
framework of Minimalism. The present talk focuses on Korean-English CS
data, and the findings from a small set of Japanese-English CS tests will
be also discussed for the purpose of comparison.

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