Unconstraining Linguistic Research on Bilingualism: Pilot Study of Spanish-English & Navajo-English Codeswitching in Central AZ
Codeswitching (CS) is the alternate use of two or more languages among bilingual interlocutors, and is widely known to occur naturally in bilingual settings. Bilinguals who engage in CS exhibit intuitions about their mixed-language utterances in the same way as monolinguals do, whereby some constructions are regarded as grammatically well-formed and others are not.
The central problem for scholars interested in the linguistic study of CS is the explanation of these intuitions. The proposed study seeks to contribute to the fields of bilingualism and linguistic theory by probing the utility of a “constraint-free” research program in two corpora, namely, Spanish- English and Navajo-English CS in Arizona. The study will enhance our understanding of bilingualism, linguistic theory, the linguistic landscape of Arizona, and provide research opportunities for ASU’s linguistically and culturally diverse students.