A study of grammatical constraints on code-switching in Norwegian-English bilinguals
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This MA thesis looked into grammatical constraints of code-switching in English-Norwegian bilinguals. Three types of grammatical constraint were studied; the equivalence constraint, the free morpheme constraint and the closed-class constraint. The study carried out consisted of a questionnaire, containing 60 sentences in which the three grammatical constraints of code-switching mentioned previously were both adhered to and violated. This questionnaire has been given to a number of Norwegian-English bilinguals. By asking these bilinguals to judge the acceptability of the sentences, it was assumed that where the constraints had been adhered to those sentences would be deemed acceptable, whereas the sentences which violate the constraints would be deemed unacceptable. The study asked 6 participants to complete the questionnaire, as well as a form with basic information about their linguistic background, i.e. if they use both languages often, or if one is used more than the other. The participants also took part in an informal interview based on the topic of this thesis and their own reflections on their language use. The thesis then went on to discuss theories about code-switching and concluded that the hypothesis did not hold. The results suggested that, although in general the participants agreed with the constraints, their answers all gave particularly low levels of acceptability regardless of whether or not a sentence adhered to these three constraints, suggesting that these constraints are not particularly strong in CS between English and Norwegian.