Volume 9, Issue 4-5
  • ISSN 1879-9264
  • E-ISSN: 1879-9272



In Papiamento-Dutch bilingual speech, the nominal construction is a potential ‘conflict site’ if there is an adjective from one language and a noun from the other. Adjective position is pre-nominal in Dutch (cf. ‘red wine’) but post-nominal in Papiamento (cf. ‘wine red’). We test predictions concerning the mechanisms underpinning word order in noun-adjective switches derived from three accounts: (i) the adjective determines word order (Cantone & MacSwan, 2009), (ii) the matrix language determines word order (Myers-Scotton, 19932002), and (iii) either order is possible (Di Sciullo, 2014). An analysis of spontaneous Papiamento-Dutch code-switching production (Parafita Couto & Gullberg, 2017) could not distinguish between these predictions. We used event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to measure online comprehension of code-switched utterances. We discuss how our results inform the three theoretical accounts and we relate them to syntactic coactivation and the production-comprehension link.


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