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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access December 31, 2019

Cree-English intrasentential code-switching: Testing the morphosyntactic constraints of the Matrix Language Frame model

  • Hussein Al-Bataineh EMAIL logo and Saleem Abdelhady
From the journal Open Linguistics


This study examines the morphosyntactic constraints on Cree-English intrasentential codeswitching involving mixed nominal expressions to test the Matrix Language Frame (MLF) model. The MLF model is one of the most influential frameworks in the field of contact linguistics used in the study of grammatical aspects of codeswitching and other contact-induced phenomena. The three principles associated with MLF, viz., the Matrix Language Principle, the Asymmetry Principle and the Uniform Structure Principle, were tested on data consisting of 10 video recordings (constituting of 323 tokens of English nouns in mixed utterances) collected from the speech of a Cree child, aged 04;06 - 06;00. The data is drawn from Pile’s (2018) thesis which is based on the data collected from the Chisasibi Child Language Acquisition Study (CCLAS). The results of the analyses suggest general support for the three principles since, in the entire data set, not a single counter example has been recorded. The Cree-English bilingual data appears asymmetrical in structure, where the Matrix Language, namely Cree, provides morpheme order and outsider late system morphemes, and consequently, is responsible for the well-formedness and morphosyntactic frame of bilingual clauses..


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Received: 2019-04-30
Accepted: 2019-11-12
Published Online: 2019-12-31

© 2019 Hussein Al-Bataineh et al., published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License.

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