Past Participle Agreement in Codeswitching Contexts
Keywords:Code-switching, past participle agreement, mixed DP, Matrix Language Framework, selected gender, analogical gender
In this work we will test the ability of nominal gender to be ‘infinitely reusable as an “active goal” for the operation Agree’ (Carstens, 2010) in mixed Italian/ English clauses. In particular, we will analyse long-distance gender relations that are realised outside the DP domain in compound ergative clauses, where an Italian ergative past participle must agree in gender (and number) with the DP-syntactic subject: specifically, the ‘active goal’ for the operation Agree may be either a monolingual English DP or a mixed DP. Moreover, the mixed ergative clauses will be embedded under an English or an Italian matrix clause, in order to see if the language of the latter affects acceptability judgements. Crucially, we aimed to assess which mixed agreement patterns are preferred in codeswitching contexts, as well as the role played by the language of the matrix clause. Furthermore, we have tested and shown to what extent the Matrix Language Framework is adequate to account for the acceptability of the various mixed combinations.
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