Evidence for insertional code-mixing: mixed compounds and French nominal groups in Brussels Dutch
Treffers-Daller, J. (2005) Evidence for insertional code-mixing: mixed compounds and French nominal groups in Brussels Dutch. International Journal of Bilingualism, 9 (3-4). pp. 477-506. ISSN 1367-0069
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/13670069050090030901
This article is a contribution to a special issue on code-switching and language change, which resulted from a colloquium Backus (University of Tilburg), Nortier (University of Utrecht) and Treffers-Daller organised at the 2nd International Symposium on Bilingualism in Newcastle in 2001. The paper is original in that it makes a link between research on code-mixing, in particular Muysken's (2000) typology of code-mixing, and recent morphological studies (Booy 2002) on the role of lexical templates (constructional idioms) in the lexicon. As the multimorphemic units that are inserted into Dutch are neither single words, nor full constituents, their status in the lexicon raises interesting issues for researchers interested in the interface between syntax and the lexicon. I argue that nominal groups with an "N de N" structure, such as carte d'identité (identity card) or an "N+A" structure journal parlé (radio news) are probably best seen as lexical templates or constructional idioms (Booij, 2002b). The insertion of French constructional idioms in Brussels Dutch represents an innovation in the lexical patterns that are available to speakers of this language. The paper also addresses one of the most thorny issues in language contact research, namely the distinction between code-switching and borrowing, and it provides evidence for the existence of a continuum between these two forms of language contact.