By Jacques Barzun
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Extra info for A Stroll With William James
Muysken therefore explores the implications of the study of code-mixing for a central hypothesis that he introduces as below: All differences between languages are ultimately lexical in nature. A particular language results from the interaction between the specific properties of a particular lexicon and a set of universal linguistic principles. All parameters can be derived from lexical properties, and in many cases these are properties of functional categories. (Muysken 2000:37) Following Muysken’s hypothesis, differentiation between languages results from “different ways in which two autonomous modules, the lexicon and the grammar, interact” (2000:51-52).
There was a wide range of proposals and ambiguous cases, and there was no explicit criterion available according to which I could base such distinctions. Problems in distinguishing between codeswitching and borrowing began when some researchers excluded the single-lexeme forms from codeswitching and counted them as borrowings. The term borrowing refers to alien language items that have been integrated to the recipient language (Poplack 1980). The traditional criteria for distinguishing between borrowing and codeswitching, which have been used by Poplack et al.
Each choice is used as a metaphor that reflects the special interactional intentions of speakers. Myers-Scotton (1993a) has also developed a Markedness Model of Codeswitching in which codeswitching is a symbol of speaker intention. The idea is that codeswitching or language alternation could be the unmarked choice for interaction or a marked choice to express a special intention. The key word in the model is “expected”. Unmarked choices are expected and do not produce any special effect. In contrast, marked choices are unusual, unexpected and encode the speaker’s social disapproval.
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