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

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Date: September-December 2005
From: International Journal of Bilingualism(Vol. 9, Issue 3-4)
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd. (UK)
Document Type: Article
Length: 14,333 words

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In this paper we analyze 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'identite 'identity card', and journal parle '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 codemixing. In addition, some evidence for the existence of a continuum between borrowing and codeswitching 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'identite and journal parle 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.

Key words



constructional idioms



language contact

1 Introduction

This article focuses on two types of French elements in Brussels Dutch (1) that have so far received relatively little attention in the literature on French-Dutch language contact. First of all, we will be studying mixed nominal compounds, such as legume + winkel 'vegetable shop' and winter + paletot 'winter coat', which consist of a French element on the left and a Dutch element on the right, or vice versa (2). Second, we will consider nominal groups, such as carte d'identite 'identity card' and sense unique 'one-way street' in Brussels Dutch, which consist of French words only. These insertions differ from what M'Barek and Sankoff (1988) have called constituent insertions, in that they are not accompanied by French determiners, as can be seen in (1) - (3).</p>

<pre> (1) Ik neem ook geen carte d'identite meer mee I take also no card of identity more with 'I do not take an identity card with me anymore.' (tape 3: 2, Marie) (2) Ze hadden bijeengelegen en mij een schoon They had together-put and me a nice presse-casserole (3) gekocht

pressure cooker bought 'They had put some money together and bought me a nice pressure cooker.'

(tape 50: 13, Linda) (3) Weet ge, als er ene uit ne sens unique

komt Know you, if there one from a one-way street comes...

'You know if there is one coming from a one-way street...'

(tape 64: 11, Wilfried) </pre> <p>It is only when a Dutch determiner is added to these insertions that they become complete Determiner Phrases (DPs). Thus, they are something in between a noun ([X.sup.0]) and a complete phrase ([X.sup.max]). In Muysken's (2000, p. 61) classification of nominal insertions, the examples in (1) (3) fall in the category of NP insertions, that is insertions of adjective + noun...

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Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A142298485