S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 25 Number 1/4 (1989)
The Morphosyntax of English-Yoruba Code-Mixing: A Bilingual Education Perspective
- Olaoye, Anthony Ayodele
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.25 No.2, pp. 295-308
- This article is a report of an empirical study which investigated the morphosyntactic aspect of Yoruba-English intra-sentential switching, otherwise called code-mixing. The question that bothered the investigator is how code-mixed sentences in two monolingual grammars can be generated since bilinguals do not just arbitrarily merge all the constituents of their two grammars into one when they switch. The study attempts to find out how Yoruba-English bilinguals switch grammars at mid-tree and still' end up with morphologically and syntactically coherent and interpretable sentences. The study reveals that switching takes place at both minor and major constituent boundaries, and that code-mixing is a discrete mode of language behaviour. There are however some syntactic constraints, and although the two languages differ in their surface structure, the category labels of different grammars have a cross-linguistic identity. English and Yoruba cooperated in a form of symbiotic union to produce smooth code-mixed utterances. Findings are then applied to bilingual education planning in Nigeria.