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Beyond the subject DP versus the subject pronoun divide in agreement switches*

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Abstract

Previous code-switching literature argues that no switch takes place between a pronoun and a verb, while Determiner Phrases (DPs) do code-switch. This paper uses code-switching acceptability judgment data elicited from three groups of English–Spanish bilinguals (2L1 children, L2 English children and L2 English adults) to test: (i) van Gelderen & MacSwan’s (2008) PF disjunction theorem intended to account for the DP/pronoun divide; and (ii) an agreement version of the analogical criterion (Liceras et al. 2008) which is based on Pesetsky & Torrego’s (2001) double-feature valuation mechanism intended to account for the different status of third person versus first and second person pronominal subjects. We show that the PF disjunction theorem is clearly rooted in the mind of the bilingual and that the Spanish dominant bilinguals can ‘relax’ its requirements to value person agreement features as predicted by the double-feature valuation mechanism.

References

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