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Evidence for insertional codemixing: mixed compounds and French nominal groups in Brussels Dutch


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Treffers-Daller, J. (2005) Evidence for insertional codemixing: mixed compounds and French nominal groups in Brussels Dutch. International Journal of Bilingualism, 9 (3-4). pp. 477-506. ISSN 1756-6878

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1177/13670069050090030901


In this paper we analyse mixed compounds, such as legume+winkel ‘vegetable shop, greengrocery’ and winter+paletot ‘winter coat’ which contain a French and a Dutch element, and French nominal groups, such as carte d’identité ‘identity card’, and journal parlé ‘radio news’, which bilingual speakers from Brussels frequently insert into Brussels Dutch utterances. Using Muysken’s (2000) typology of bilingual speech, we claim that the mixed compounds and the nominal groups display the characteristics of insertional code-mixing. In addition, some evidence for the existence of a continuum between borrowing and code-switching can be obtained from these examples. 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 (see also Backus 2003). We try to argue that nominal groups such as carte d’identité and journal parlé 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, which is highly relevant for theories of language change.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Language and Literacy in Education
ID Code:29893
Uncontrolled Keywords:borrowing, codemixing, constructional idioms, French, Dutch, language contact

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