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Title:Processing of code-mixed sentences by two types of bilinguals: A comparison of code-mixers and non-code-mixers
Author(s):Armitano, Karen S.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Mack, Molly
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Language, Linguistics
Psychology, Experimental
Abstract:This study was based on a reaction time (RT) experiment conducted to see if there were differences in RTs between code-mixers and non-code-mixers in a sentence verification task. Task 1 was a timed test in which Spanish-English bilingual code-mixers and non-code-mixers responded to computer-presented monolingual sentences and acceptable and unacceptable code-mixed sentences. Task 2 was a non-timed metalinguistic grammaticality judgment task in which the same subjects were asked to indicate if the code-mixed sentences presented in the timed task were acceptable or unacceptable code-mixed sentences.
Results revealed small, though not significant, RT differences between code-mixers and non-code-mixers responses to code-mixed and monolingual sentences. Results also revealed no significant difference between code-mixers and non-code-mixers' number of correct responses on the non-timed task. However, both groups' RTs to English monolingual sentences were significantly shorter than their RTs to Spanish monolingual sentences, and their RTs to acceptable code-mixed sentences were significantly shorter than their RTs to unacceptable code-mixed sentences. Also, subjects' RTs to some constraints were significantly different from their RTs to other constraints.
Such findings suggest that code-mixers and non-code-mixers may not be different types of bilinguals. In addition, the fact that subjects responded significantly faster to acceptable than to unacceptable code-mixed sentences suggests that rules for code-mixing do exist. Finally, differences in subjects' responses to various syntactic constraints suggest that some constraints on code-mixing may be stronger than others. The implications of such findings are that code-mixing appears to be rule governed and that the processing of code-mixed sentences may parallel the procesing of monolingual sentences.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Armitano, Karen S.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9124378
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9124378

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