An optimality-theoretic approach to dialect code-switching

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3 Scopus citations


Despite the numerous frameworks for analyzing patterns of code-switching (CS) in multilingual communities, previous analyses have lacked a thorough treatment of the universality of the functions of CS. A recent model (Bhatt and Bolonyai 2011) addresses this gap by presenting a framework that incorporates principles of Optimality Theory (OT) and offers a precise model in which the countless functions of CS are reduced to five meta-constraints, the interaction and satisfaction of which account for the different grammars of bilingual language use. This framework's applicability to situations of dialectal CS must be tested in order to show the breadth and depth of the model. This paper presents a reanalysis of the data in Mishoe (1995), which utilized the Markedness Model (Myers-Scotton 1993), within Bhatt and Bolonyai's (2011) OT framework, demonstrating that data previously analyzed using another model of CS receives a better account under Bhatt and Bolonyai's OT approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-197
Number of pages28
JournalEnglish World-Wide
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015


  • American english
  • Bidialectalism
  • Code-switching
  • Optimality
  • Socio-pragmatics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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