Government and Codeswitching

Explaining American Finnish

ORCID logoHelena Halmari | Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas
ISBN 9789027241184 (Eur) | EUR 110.00
ISBN 9781556195464 (USA) | USD 165.00
ISBN 9789027282750 | EUR 110.00 | USD 165.00
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Bilingual codeswitching is a complex, multifaceted phenomenon, which calls for explanations on several different linguistic levels. This volume focuses on one such level: the level of syntax. An explanation for the regularities and consistencies in the codeswitching patterns of American Finns in their spontaneous conversations is sought for in the Universal Grammar -based principle of government as realized in case-assignment and agreement relations. A bulk of the Finnish-English intrasentential data get their explanation on the structural, hierarchical level, but this level of syntax is found to be interestingly intertwined with sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic, and discourse levels, which all contribute to variation in codeswitching patterns. The proposed principle of government is seen as one important explanation in typologically certain kinds of language pairs such as Finnish and English; however, this principle is not treated as a monolithic constraint, but rather as the leading tendency which is occasionally overridden by other than syntactic forces.
The volume is intended as a complement — not as a contradiction — to earlier explanations of codeswitching phenomena. Its main message is: while all linguistic levels contribute to the construction of bilingual speech, the importance of syntax can not be ignored.
[Studies in Bilingualism, 12] 1997.  xvi, 276 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“Without a doubt, this volume is a stimulating contribution to our understanding of CS (codeswitching), and Halmari is to be congratulated for her ideas and efforts. It offers a comprehensive and insightful attempt to account for Finnish-English CS with a syntax-based Government approach.”
“Halmari’s Government and codeswitching: Explaining American
Finnish is an extremely elucidating and well argued for study in
codeswitching research. Her sound and feasible methodology can serve as a guide for other
pioneer linguists to conduct research in non-documented or poorly documented
codeswitching language pairs. Crucially, it attests to the importance of empirical studies in the testing and reformulation of theory.”
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Main BIC Subject

CF: Linguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
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U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  97013220 | Marc record