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Structural and social aspects of codeswitching among Iranian/Canadian bilinguals

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(Thesis) M.A.
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This study investigates the codeswitching behavior in Persian/Canadian English conversations. The codeswitching data were collected from interviews with four homogeneous groups of 16 young adult men and women and middle-aged men and women. The analysis of 1,043 instances of intra-sentential codeswitching indicates no significant effect of age or gender on the CS patterns. In addition, the structural analysis of English lexical insertions shows that strict structural equivalence is not required for codeswitching to occur, as long as the inserted elements are congruent with the matrix frame. However, the lack of congruity between the verbal systems of Persian and English imposes some restrictions on the insertion of verbs. English verbs can only be inserted through light verb constructions. This study also provides evidence against the strict separation between borrowing and codeswitching and argues for a unified treatment of the two phenomena. Finally, the issue of motivations behind codeswitching is addressed.
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