Code switching in the determiner phrase

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This study compares the predictions of the Functional Head Constraint (Belazi et al. 1994) and the Complement/Adjunct Distinction (Mahootian and Santorini 1996), each based in part on Arabic-French code-switching (CS), with native speaker judgments of switches within the determiner phrase (DP). While similar in some respects, the constraints offer contradictory predictions of certain syntactic realizations of CS involving the head of a phrase. Using an aural survey, the study examines native Tunisian and Moroccan dialect speakers’ authenticity ratings of 40 sentences that contain Arabic and French with a code-switch occurring in the DP. The results show significant differences between ratings by dialect and syntactic context of the switch. The findings suggest that the differences found in the proposed constraints may stem from distinct CS patterns employed by speakers of each dialect.


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