On the grammar of code-switching

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores an Optimality-Theoretic approach (Prince and Smolensky, 1994) to account for the observed cross-linguistic patterns of code-switching. The proposal is premised on the simple assumption that code-switching strives for well-formedness. I assume that when the embedding constituents are mixed into the matrix language, the syntax operates to optimize well-formedness. I show that optimization of well-formedness in code-switching follows from the (violable) ranked constraints. I will argue that the patterns of code-switching emerge from the interactions among the ranked constraints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-375
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Englishes
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this