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Title:Bilingual interactions, linguistic choices, and the nature of bilingual grammar: Korean students in the United States
Author(s):Lee, Young-Sun
Director of Research:Bhatt, Rakesh M.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Bhatt, Rakesh M.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bokamba, Eyamba G.; Pandharipande, Rajeswari; Yoon, James Hye Suk
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Bilingual Interactions
the nature of sociolinguistic grammar
Bhatt and Bolonyai's (2011) model of OPTIMIZATION
the universal constraints of bilingual language use
Abstract:The goal of this dissertation is to make empirical and theoretical contributions to the understanding of the nature of the sociolinguistic grammar of bilingual language use. Specifically the main goal will test the claims of a theoretical methodology—that is, Optimality Theory (OT)-inspired—that imposes order on the vast array of sociolinguistic functions of code-switching and reach for generalizations, i.e., to what extent (or whether) Bhatt and Bolonyai’s (2011) model of OPTIMIZATION in code-switching generalizes over Korean-English bilingual data. In the dissertation, the Korean-English bilingual data demonstrate the operation of the five constraints of Bhatt and Bolonyai (2011): FAITH, POWER, SOLIDARITY, PERSPECTIVE, and FACE. In other words, these universal constraints find empirical presence in the data analyzed in this dissertation. The Korean Heritage Students (KHS) data demonstrate that the interaction and optimal satisfaction of the five constraints yields a grammar that shows a complete domination-hierarchy among the following constraints, a desirable result, given OT: FAITH>>PERPSPECTIVE >>FACE>>SOLIDARITY>>POWER. Bhatt and Bolonyai (2011) had argued that the ideal in an OT-inspired account—where all constraints are potentially in conflict with each other—would be a grammar that resolves the conflict in a strict domination hierarchy. The Korean Early Study Abroaders (KESA) data also demonstrate the presence of a ranked grammar as follows; FAITH>> {PERSPECTIVE, FACE}>> POWER>> SOLIDARITY. The result of a preliminary data analysis of the KHS-KESA interactions indicates that the grammar of KHS acquiesces to KESA as follows, which could be an act of sociolinguistic accommodation; FAITH>> {PERSPECTIVE, FACE}>>POWER>>SOLIDARITY. This result, however, is counterintuitive considering the stableness of the grammar of KHS compared to KESA’s. However, this is an interesting issue left for future research. The research of the nature and design of a sociolinguistic grammar of bilingual interaction, that is, patterns of language use, contributes to the field of code-switching by shifting the theoretical focus of a study of bilinguals’ linguistic choices, i.e., code-switching, from monolingualism (or double monolingualism) to bilingualism—from monolingual grammars to bilingual grammars. This is not a new approach to bilingualism. Ferguson (1979) and Kachru (1987) already suggested in their early studies on multi-/bilingualism. In addition, the results of the research empirically validate the theoretical framework of OPTIMIZATION as a key construct of a sociolinguistic grammar (of bilingual language use); the Korean-English bilinguals data demonstrate the operations of five constraints and their interactions to build up a particular ranking for the optimal bilingual grammar of KHS and KESA. Finally, the domain of interaction across groups of quite similar (but not the same) bilinguals, KHS and KESA, shows that there might (must) be an interaction: that OT-grammars are mutable, in that domain. This is another research project for future that could bring an answer to the question of “How (and when/ where) do “processes” of linguistic accommodation, identification, and stance-taking interact with OPITMIZATION?”
Issue Date:2015-11-18
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Young Sun Lee
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-03-02
Date Deposited:2015-12

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