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Triggered codeswitching: Lexical processing and conversational dynamics

  • Mirjam Broersma (a1), Diana Carter (a2), Kevin Donnelly (a3) and Agnieszka Konopka (a4)

Abstract

This study investigates the psycholinguistic process underlying triggered codeswitching – codeswitching facilitated by the occurrence of cognates – within the context of conversational dynamics. It confirms that, in natural bilingual speech, lexical selection of cognates can facilitate codeswitching by enhancing the activation of the non-selected language. Analyses of a large-scale corpus of Welsh–English conversational speech showed that 1) producing cognates facilitated codeswitching, 2) speakers who generally produced more cognates generally codeswitched more, even in clauses that did not contain cognates, 3) larger numbers of cognates in a clause increased the likelihood of codeswitching, 4) codeswitching temporarily remained facilitated after the production of cognates, and 5) hearing rather than producing cognates did not facilitate codeswitching. The findings confirm the validity of the proposed cognitive account of triggered codeswitching, and clarify the relation between the lexical activation of cognates and consecutive language choice, in accord with current insights in lexical processing.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Mirjam Broersma, E-mail: m.broersma@let.ru.nl, mirjam@mirjambroersma.nl

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Keywords

Triggered codeswitching: Lexical processing and conversational dynamics

  • Mirjam Broersma (a1), Diana Carter (a2), Kevin Donnelly (a3) and Agnieszka Konopka (a4)

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