In Support of the Matrix Language Frame Model: Evidence from Igbo-English Intrasentential Codeswitching

Ihemere, K. 2016. In Support of the Matrix Language Frame Model: Evidence from Igbo-English Intrasentential Codeswitching. Language Matters: Studies in the Languages of Africa. 47 (1), pp. 105-127. doi:10.1080/10228195.2015.1110194

TitleIn Support of the Matrix Language Frame Model: Evidence from Igbo-English Intrasentential Codeswitching
AuthorsIhemere, K.
Abstract

This paper explores the morphosyntactic features of mixed nominal expressions in a sample of empirical Igbo-English intrasentential codeswitching data (i.e. codeswitching within a bilingual clause) in terms of the Matrix Language Frame (MLF) model. Since both Igbo and English differ in the relative order of head and complement within the nominal argument phrase, the analysed data seem appropriate for testing the veracity of the principal assumption underpinning the MLF model: the notion that the two languages (in our case Igbo and English) participating in codeswitching do not both contribute equally to the morphosyntactic frame of a mixed constituent. As it turns out, the findings provide both empirical and quantitative support for the basic theoretical view that there is a Matrix Language (ML) versus Embedded Language (EL) hierarchy in classic codeswitching as predicted by the MLF model because both Igbo and English do not simultaneously satisfy the roles of the ML in Igbo-English codeswitching.

KeywordsMatrix Language Frame model; Igbo; English; Embedded Language; Matrix Language; intrasentential codeswitching; morphosyntactic features; mixed nominal expressions; classic codeswitching
Article number6
JournalLanguage Matters: Studies in the Languages of Africa
Journal citation47 (1), pp. 105-127
ISSN1022-8195
Year2016
PublisherUniSA Press/Taylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscriptIn%20Support%20of%20the%20Matrix%20Language%20Frame%20Model%3A%20Evidence%20from%20Igbo-English%20Intrasentential%20Codeswitching.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/10228195.2015.1110194
Publication dates
Published online03 May 2016

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