Article published in:Continuity and Change in Grammar
Edited by Anne Breitbarth, Christopher Lucas, Sheila Watts and David Willis
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 159] 2010
► pp. 77–96
Using the Matrix Language Frame model to measure the extent of word-order convergence in Welsh-English bilingual speech
Word-order convergence is argued to be a processual mechanism in which bilinguals use morphemes from language A in an order which is more prominent in language B than in language A. In this chapter we examine whether there is word-order convergence in the speech of Welsh–English bilinguals using Myers-Scotton’s (2002) Matrix Language Frame model. We use the term dichotomous matrix language to capture the phenomenon found where structural material within a clause does not point to either language as being the matrix language (ML), and suggest that this reflects convergence in such clauses. Applying this model to recorded spoken data from six Welsh–English bilinguals, we find that dichotomous ML clauses in the data are very rare, suggesting that word-order convergence in Welsh–English bilinguals is not commonly found when measured in this way.
Published online: 29 July 2010
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