Code-Switching in Multilinguals: A Narrative Elicitation Study with L1 Arabic, L2 English, L3 Norwegian Speakers. The Role of Cognates, Dominance and Typological proximity
This study aims to investigate the phenomenon of code-switching in multilingual. Participants in this study speak Arabic as L1, English as L2, and Norwegian as L3. The focus will mainly be on two main patterns in code-switching: The Insertion of cognates and the Direction of the cross-linguistic influence. More specifically, we will investigate if the co-activation effect on cognates would increase the potential to code-switch cognates more than non-cognates. In addition, we will try to find out which factor could be more influential on the directionality of the switches in terms of dominance and typological proximity. A group of 41 participants was interviewed to elicit data for this study. Two elicitation tasks were employed: the MAIN task by Gagarina (2012) and the Picture Descriptive Task adapted from Lloyd-Smith’s study. Each task consists of two depicted stories. Participants had to tell a story out of the presented pictures. All their narratives were recorded and then transcribed. The results showed that there were more code-switch instances among cognates than non-cognates in the English narratives. Additionally, the difference between the cognate code-switches and the non-cognate code-switches was significant. This significant difference is attributed to the strong activation of the Norwegian language that led to a strong representation of cognate in the mental lexicon. On the other hand, participants did not produce more cognates than non-cognates in the Norwegian narratives, and the difference was not significant. This can be explained by the weak activation level of English that led to a more inadequate representation of the cognates in the mental lexicon. Regarding the direction, the results revealed that there were code-switches from all languages, but only one language (Norwegian) was the strongest donor. The role of dominance was seen between English and Norwegian, whereas the dominance of the participants’ L1 had no effect due to the lack of typological proximity between Arabic and the other two Germanic languages in this study. Keywords: code-switching, insertion, directionality, cognates, cross-linguistic influence, multilingual.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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