Most people modify their ways of speaking, writing, texting, and e-mailing, and so on, according to the people with whom they are communicating. This fascinating book asks why we 'accommodate' to others in this way, and explores the various social consequences arising from it.
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2003 14:02:57 +0400 (MSD) From: Alexander Rusakov Subject: Contact Linguistics: Bilingual Encounters and Grammatical Outcomes
Myers-Scotton, Carol (2002) Contact Linguistics: Bilingual Encounters and Grammatical Outcomes, Oxford University Press.
Alexander Yu. Rusakov, St. Petersburg State University
The book under review contains a detailed account of Myers-Scotton's theory in its current state. This theory was first proposed in her landmark classic "Duelling languages" (Myers-Scotton 1993a); further developments in this theory can be traced in numerous follow-up studies written by either Myers-Scotton alone (e.g. 1998, 2001 ) or in collaboration with colleagues (e.g. Myers-Scotton & Jake 1995, 2000). Although the cornerstone assumptions remain unchanged, the theory has significantly changed since its appearance. It may be observed that a general trend of that development was a shift from a theory of code-switching with special stress on its grammatical aspect to a broader theory of language contacts. The phenomena viewed in this theory are different kinds of structural outcome in the languages involved in the contacts, ranging from borrowing to the formation of pidgin and creole languages. It is repeatedly pointed out that there is a fundamental unanimity between the phenomena at issue (cf. "[t]he same set of principles and processes explains all contact phenomena", xii), as well as between bilingual and monolingual speech (cf. "[t]hese principles and processes are apparent in language in general", xii).
Along with the discussion of the ideas put forward by Myers-Scotton and numerous linguistic facts in support of those, the book contains an elaborate and expedient survey of the up-to-date literature for each of the raised topics. The text of the book is extremely dense, which poses certain problems for reviewing it. Thus, in the synopsis, I will confine myself to the indication at the basic issues raised in each chapter. It is equally impossible to touch upon all the theoretical problems discussed by Myers-Scotton in the evaluative part of the review. Thus I am forced to concentrate on a small range of issues, mostly on those of particular interest to me personally.
The monograph is aptly organized from a didactic point of view. In the first chapter, a short outline of a theoretical model or, rather, of several models proposed by Myers-Scotton is offered, "[c]hapter 2 is the only one that does not focus on grammatical structures in specific contact phenomena; instead, it offers an overview of the sociolinguistic factors that promote bilingualism across societies and in individuals" (28). The third chapter contains a detailed description of the theoretical approach advocated in the book, while the following three ones show how this approach "works" with respect to the various types of contact data. In particular, chapter 4 focuses on the "problematic" cases of code-switching, chapter 5 on the problems of convergence and attrition and chapter 6 on lexical borrowings, mixed languages and creoles. "The final chapter (Chapter 7) offers a summary in the form of a set of hypotheses based on discussions in the earlier chapters" (29).
1. INTRODUCTION (1-29) briefly outlines the subject of investigation (see above) and introduces the general theoretical base of the study. This base includes four general principles: - The Matrix Language principle - The Uniform Structure principle, cf. "[a] given constituent type in any language has a uniform abstract structure and the requirements of well-formedness for this constituent type must be observed whenever the constituent appears" (8) - The Asymmetry Principle for bilingual frames (asymmetry of the participation of the languages involved in the bilingual speech) - and The Morpheme-Sorting Principle ("[a]t the abstract level of linguistic competence and production, there are different types of morphemes. In bilingual speech, the outcome of these abstract differences is that all the morphemes from the participating varieties do not have equal possibilities of occurrence" (9).
Based on these principles, three models are put forward: the main Matrix Language Frame model (MLF), that was originally proposed in (Myers-Scotton 1993a) and then amended almost to its current state in Myers-Scotton 1997, and two supplementary models developed in collaboration with Jan Jake - The 4-M model and the Abstract Level model. These models are thoroughly described in Chapter 3.
A number of questions essential for further argument are tackled in the Introduction. In particular, "implications for a model of language production" are discussed; an approach adopted by Myers-Scotton "presupposes the model of language production" that is generally in accordance with (Levelt 1989) although in a modified version (basically, as a result of putting forward the 4-M model).
A crucial terminological opposition is introduced here between classic codeswitching (codeswitching in which both the matrix language and embedded language are preserved more or less intact, and "the speakers ... can produce well-formed monolingual utterances in the variety which becomes the source of... ML" - 8) and composite codeswitching (matrix language has gone through a convergence with the embedded language).
2. THE ROOTS OF LANGUAGE CONTACT (30-52) views language contact phenomena from a sociolinguistic point of view. Some factors favoring bilingualism are revealed, as well as "the costs and rewards of bilingualism in the international area" and the "motivations to become bilingual". A separate section is devoted to language-use patterns, here lexical borrowing are dealt with (to be discussed in more detail in chapter 6) along with the use of language in various functional domains and sociolinguistic aspects of codeswitching. Besides, Rational Choice Model (cf. in detail Myers- Scotton & Bolonyai 2001) is briefly outlined, which is an up-to-date variant of Myers-Scotton's earlier Markedness model (cf. Myers- Scotton 1993b). The most important innovation in this model is assuming "that choices are best explained as cognitive based calculations that depend on their estimations of what choices offer them the greatest rewards... [t]hat a bilingual may see switching languages at some point in a conversation as a way to optimize rewards" (46). Further on, one may find a short section devoted to language shift; finally, in the end of the chapter and as a kind of transitory part to the essential part of the monograph, six structural results of bilingualism are listed which are the topics of the book. These are (i) lexical borrowing, (ii) codeswitching, (iii) convergence, (iv) attrition, that goes hand in hand with language shift, (v) mixed (split) languages, and (vi) creoles (52).
3. EXPLAINING THE MODELS AND THEIR USES (53-107) contains a detailed description of the three basic models, with special stress on the innovations as compared to the theory outlined in Myers-Scotton 1993a. Some points are highlighted:
- CP (projection of complementizer) and not sentence is used as unit of analysis (an argument for that has been already proposed in Myers-Scotton 1997). Codeswitching addressed to in the monograph is codeswitching within the CP exclusively. Such a preference is first of all due to the vagueness of the notion of sentence and, contrariwise, to the clearness of the notion of CP. - There are some amendments with respect to the concept of Matrix Language (ML) if compared to the 1993 model. In particular, it is indicated that, although ML may change within an utterance, it happens very rarely and, most importantly, ML does not change within the CP. A discussion follows on the relations between ML and "the source variety that the Matrix Language frame so closely resembles" (66). In order to demonstrate the distinction, Myers- Scotton points to the fact that there are two types of elements that are built into the ML frame (bare forms from Embedded Language and Embedded Language islands) "that are not completely integrated into the morphosyntax of the source of the Matrix Language" (67). Admittedly, however, "'Matrix Language' may be used as a label for the source language as a short cut" (67). It is curious in this respect that on the following page one reads that "[t]he Matrix Language is an abstract construct... . The Matrix language is an abstract frame... [i]t does not include actual morphemes nor is it isomorphic with any fully fleshed-out linguistic variety" (68). It seems that the relations (or even a controversy) between the two understandings of ML, viz. 1) a language form that is near to, although probably distinct from, the source language (this distinction is in fact determined by the ML's role in Codeswitching) and 2) ML as an abstract frame remain somewhat unexplicated (see also Boussofara Omar 2003).
- An opposition between content and system morphemes yields its place to a more sophisticated 4-M model. The need for such a model was called for by the fact that there were system morphemes of Embedded language that did not meet one of the basic principles of the model, viz. not to appear in mixed constituents. The crucial point of the new model is a more detailed classification of morphemes that is based on the parameters that are in no way related to contact phenomena. The cornerstone opposition of this new classification is [+/- conceptually activated] distinction of morphemes. The first group of morphemes embraces those morphemes that "are salient at the level of the mental lexicon". Lemmas underlying these "types of morpheme are more directly linked to speaker's intention" (74); in other words, such elements have semantic content" (76). Content morphemes and early system morphemes belong to this group, the lemmas underlying the latter kind of morphemes are, as it were, extracted by the lemmas of underlying content morphemes, as they are activated on earlier stages of sentence production. The other group encompasses two types of late system morphemes that serve syntactic relations, within and outside the Maximal Projection of Head, correspondingly. These morphemes are activated at the later stages of utterance production. One of the main objectives of the book is to demonstrate that these two groups of morphemes behave differently in contact situations.
Two other points must be emphasized. 1) The very term 'morpheme' is used to convey two different meaning in Myers-Scotton's book, namely, for the actual surface-level morphemes, but also for the lemmas that support them, abstract entities in the mental lexicon (106). Accordingly, several 'underlying' morphemes may correspond to a single 'surface' one. This is of particular importance when dealing with inflexional languages (see below). 2) 'Early' and 'late' morphemes may be mixed within one grammatical category; e.g. 'semantic' case morphemes (such as locative and the like) are 'early' morphemes, while syntax-oriented case morphemes belong to the 'late' type of morphemes.
- Another important achievement is an introduction of the Abstract Level theory claiming "that there are three levels of abstract grammatical structure in any lexical item... [:] (i) the level of lexical- conceptual structure...; (ii) the level of predicate-argument structure..; (iii) the level of morphological realization patterns..." (96). Two domains in which this model is at work are discussed at some length. On the one hand, in classic codeswitching (see above for the term) a morpheme of the embedded language that 'pretend' to be uttered must be checked for congruence with its "Matrix language counterparts". If this congruence fails at a certain level, the elements of the embedded language are included in a not fully integrated form (bare forms or Embedded Language islands; see Chapter 4 for these problems). On the other hand, the Abstract Level model neatly accounts for the convergence phenomena (to be discussed in Chapter 5).
4. CONSIDERING PROBLEMATIC CODESWITCHING DATA AND OTHER APPROACHES (108-163) views the 'behavior' of morphemes of Embedded Language, when they do not meet the requirement of congruence (imposed by the Abstract Level model). One option is the incorporation of bare forms. It is shown that the incongruence of the NP structures in Embedded and Matrix Languages leads to the intrusion of a lexical morpheme in its bare form; on the contrary, if the early system morphemes of the NP (e.g., determiners) show the full congruency with the corresponding elements of the Matrix language they may be used with their content morphemes.
Another topic of this chapter is Embedded Language Islands. A number of important theoretical issues are touched upon here. These include triggering (Myers-Scotton is rather skeptical with respect to the role of this phenomenon), pragmatic and grammatical motivation of Embedded Language Islands use, Embedded Language islands and proficiency. As regards the latter, Myers-Scotton makes a rather witty remark: a wide use of Embedded Language Islands is indicative of high proficiency in Embedded Language. On the other hand, "when speakers are nearly equally at home in both languages, almost ironically, Embedded Language Islands lose their importance. Instead, switching between CPs becomes very frequent as well as switching between sentences" (149). (Could not it be the case that in this situation one may rather speak about a short-term poise between the two languages without clear domination of one of them?)
Finally, in the last section of the chapter, Myers-Scotton tackles the question of distinguishing between borrowing and codeswitching, the topic that has been already discussed in some detail as early as in Myers-Scotton 1993a. This section is primarily based on the dispute with those researchers whose views go contrary to those of Myers- Scotton. These are first of all Susanne Polack and her associates as well the adherents of the Government and Binding theory or Minimalist Program. Myers-Scotton points at fundamental similarity between borrowing and codeswitching, at least on a synchronic level.
There are some other crucial points in this chapter that seem to be relevant for the whole theory of Myers-Scotton. 1) The problem of different patterns of behavior of verbs resp. nouns in language contacts. This problem has been attracting researchers' attention for many years (see e.g. a special section on bilingual verbs in Muysken 2000). This topic is prevailing throughout the book. There are several remarks that are worth mentioning in this respect. - Unlike nouns, verbs "are [+thematic role assigner] and therefore carry more 'syntactic baggage' than nouns, meaning their fit with the recipient language may be harder to make" (76); - The reason for the frequently attested use of Embedded Language verbs in do-constructions in Matrix Language could be "a conflict of branching requirements between the Matrix language and the Embedded Language" (162). - Infrequency of adapted verb forms' use may be accounted for by the "lack of congruence across tense/aspect systems" (138).
2) As regards Embedded Language Islands, Myers-Scotton dwells on the notion of "internal Embedded Language Island", that is, a constituent which is "part of larger constituent in which they constitute a sister to a Matrix language element under N-bar..." (149). In some cases, such an island is in fact just an inflected wordform of Embedded Language, e.g. a plural forms (ghost-s). Elsewhere, arguing against (although partially agreeing with) Ad Backus, Myers-Scotton advances an important observation, according to which "[i]dioms, like irregular plurals and irregular past tenses in English (and other languages), may well be contained in single lemmas and therefore are not compositionally assembled" (141). It is not, however, completely clear whether the units of this kind that are reproduced by rote are Embedded Language Islands (probably not?). This problem is very important for the understanding of the essence of codeswitching in inflexional languages; I'll touch upon it once again in the last part of the review.
5. CONVERGENCE AND ATTRITION (164-232) discusses convergence as outcome as having "two distinctive features: (i) all surface morphemes come from one language; (ii) the abstract lexical structure projecting these morphemes no longer comes from one language, but includes some abstract structure from another language" (164). These features are characteristic for the attrition as well. The difference between these phenomena has a sociolinguistic rather purely linguistic sense: the convergence is characteristic for the given speech community as a whole (or for the part of speech community); the attrition is an individual feature. Besides It may be passingly remarked that the distinction between convergence and attrition is drawn less straightforwardly than is usually typical of Myers-Scotton.
In this chapter several key notions of contact linguistics are discussed, such as convergence areas (=Sprachbund). It is emphasized that "such areas result from past instances of asymmetrical relationships" (230). Existing studies of language attrition are inquired into in much detail. In this discussion, Myers- Scotton appears to be rather skeptical towards the notion of markedness (following Thomason and Kaufman 1988 in this respect).
Central for this chapter are theoretical assumptions of Myers-Scotton herself. Being based on the studies of individual attrition (belonging to both Myers-Scotton and other researchers), these assumptions are, of course, valid with respect to convergence as well.
An essential notion of composite matrix language is introduced, i.e. of a language that has undergone convergence ("[b]oth convergence and codeswitching necessarily involve a composite Matrix language", 165). It is noticed below, however, that convergence merely "often involves codeswitching". The major part of the section is devoted to the discussion of whether Abstract Level model and 4- M model are applicable in the analysis of attrition and convergence. A number of hypotheses are put forward; these could be briefly summarized in the two following hierarchies of susceptibility of alteration under attrition: (i) Predicate-argument structure < morphological realization patterns < lexical-conceptual structure (ii) Late system morphemes < early system morphemes < content morphemes
It remains unclear, however, with respect to the first of these two clines, whether it is arrived at deductively or based on a quantitative analysis of empirical data. In the latter case, it must be noticed that statistical data reported in the monograph (p. 200) are not themselves convincing enough for the hierarchy proposed.
6. LEXICAL BORROWING, SPLIT (MIXED) LANGUAGES, AND CREOLE FORMATION (233-294) is one of the most substantial chapters in the book; it concentrates on a topic, which is in fact essential for the whole monograph, namely, on the discrepant behavior of lexical elements and "those signaling grammatical relations".
Speaking about lexical borrowings, Myers-Scotton traditionally distinguishes between cultural borrowed forms and core borrowed forms; the former may "begin life" "in the monolingual speech of either bilinguals or monolinguals .... [as well as] in the codeswitching of bilinguals" (239), while the latter may do so as code switches only. It is further argued that there is a crucial difference in the mechanism of borrowing content and system morphemes (first of all, late system morphemes), the latter may "come into a language when its morphosyntactic frame undergoes a reconfiguration", that is, after convergence has come into play. Borrowing of such morphemes "is a sign of a Matrix Language Turnover". It is noteworthy that Myers-Scotton does not comment on the borrowing hierarchy of the different structural types of grammatical morphemes (auxiliaries, agglutinative affixes, flexions), although this topic is quite popular in the literature on language contacts.
The following section of the chapter is devoted to the mixed languages, for which Myers-Scotton prefers the label of 'split languages'. Two definitions of split languages are given, a strong one ("[a] split language shows all - or almost all - of its morphosyntactic frame from a different source language from large portions of its lexicon; this frame includes all - or almost all - of its late system morphemes from the language of the morphosyntactic frame") and a less stringent one ("[a] split language shows a major constituent with its system morphemes and major parts of the morphosyntactic frame from a different source language from that of most of the lexicon and the morphosyntactic frame of other constituents", 249).
The three most commonly known cases of split languages are discussed, namely, Michif, Mednyj Aleut and Ma'a (Mbugu). The basic mechanism giving rise to split languages is the Matrix Language turnover. Convergence is a prerequisite for this mechanism, while codeswitching is a favored although not completely obligatory requirement. The Matrix Language turnover may trigger a number of different scenarios of development: (i) it might be arrested at a certain stage; such a scenario is assumed for Mednyj Aleut, based largely on Golovko's (1996, 1999) point of view; (ii) it might be (almost) completed: "a complete turnover of all the late system morphemes with or without a turnover in at least some of the lexicon" (248); an example of such development is Ma'a; (iii) finally, Matrix Language turnover may lead to a language shift. As far as Michif is concerned, Matrix language turnover is not, as far as I can understand, postulated in its development; rather we deal with a peculiar combination of fossilized codeswitching and convergence. A distinct pattern of behavior of lexical and grammatical elements is typical of all instances of split languages.
It is worth emphasizing that while Myers-Scotton assumes common structural pattern of development for all split languages, she acknowledges the difference in direction of such development in individual languages depending on particular sociolinguistic circumstances. Discussing conscious effort on speakers' part (constructing, inventing) as a possible factor in the formation of split languages, Myers-Scotton notices that "[s]peakers can consciously decide they want to change the way they speak, but this is not the same thing as deciding how to change it" (253).
The last section of the chapter deals with creoles. Myers-Scotton does not draw a distinction between pidgins and creoles assuming that nativization (or its absence) is not related to the structure of these languages and thus is not relevant for the approach adopted in the monograph. Generally, Myers-Scotton adheres to "the subtratist" position and substantiates this position within her general theoretical framework. Myers-Scotton's views on the structural development of creoles are represented in five basic hypotheses that can be briefly summarized as follows: (i) "[t]he substrate varieties contribute to creole formation by supplying the 'invisible' morphosyntactic frame of the creole" (277); (ii) ... [s]uperstrate- content morphemes are much more frequent in the creole than substrate ones" (281); (iii) "[c]ontent morphemes from the superstrate can be reconfigured as system morphemes" in creoles (283; curiously, Myers-Scotton does not mention the notion of grammaticalization at any point of the discussion of such examples); (iv) "[e]arly system morphemes from the superstrate are only available to satisfy creole requirements when they are accessed along with their heads" (286, numerous cases of the use of superstrate words with their determiners are meant; it seems more appropriate to view these as single units resulting from 'incorrect analysis' of the noun phrases of superstrate language); (v) "[l]ate system morphemes from the superstrate are not available to satisfy the requirements of the creole morphosyntactic frame" due to the difficulty of access to the frame of the superstrate language (287).
7. CONCLUDING REMARKS: THE OUT OF SIGHT IN CONTACT LINGUISTICS (295-310), which concludes this monograph, elegantly recapitulates its main ideas as a set of 'hypotheses for further testing'. These hypotheses are grouped around two basic theoretical themes: (i) "[t]he asymmetry between participating languages in contact phenomena and the press forward of the abstract frame of one language to prevail" (297), and (ii) "[t]he inherent lack of parity between different types of morphemes within the abstract frame of all languages in terms of their patterns of distribution" (297). Another crucial point is putting forward some basic assumptions that link together the various contact phenomena discussed in the book. A summary of basic assumptions reads as follows: "If there is language shift, the mechanisms involved follow this hierarchy: Classic codeswitching < convergence < composite codeswitching (i.e. shift most likely with composite codeswitching)" (299).
It must be clear from what has been said above that the new book of Myers-Scotton is one of the most important contributions to the study of codeswitching and language contacts that has been published in the recent years both because of the width of issues discussed and theoretical depth of treating these issues. It seems, however, that the very striving for an all-embracing and uncontroversial global theory is the reason why some points remain somewhat unclear. Due to space limitations, I will dwell at some length on those issues only that are of special interest to me.
1. Composite codeswitching and congruent lexicalisation. According to Myers-Scotton, composite matrix language, that is, matrix language that has undergone convergence, is a prerequisite for composite codeswitching. Grammatical frame incorporates elements of the abstract structure of embedded language. Thus, incorporation of the elements from the embedded language is facilitated, as it becomes easier for these elements to be checked for congruence on all of the three levels of the Abstract Level model. Basically, the phenomenon at issue is reminiscent of what Pieter Muysken calls congruent lexicalisation (Muysken 2000: 153). There is, however, an important distinction between the two. Muysken does not confine himself to the instances of assimilation between grammatical structures of two languages as a result of convergence, treating under the same label those cases when "[t]he languages share the grammatical structure of the sentence" (Muysken 2000: 122) due to other reasons (e.g., by virtue of their close cognation). In other words, Muysken approaches this phenomenon from a purely synchronic point of view, not taking into consideration its potentially different origins, while Myers-Scotton, on the contrary, views it, as it were, from a developmental point of view; however, she sticks to discussing one particular scenario of development not inquiring other possible variants. The question arises, whether Myers-Scotton views as composite codeswitching any codeswitching occurring between the languages whose grammatical and conceptual structures are similar. Most likely, the answer is negative.
A possible cue to this problem could have been a comparison of codeswitching in those situations when grammatical structures of two languages are similar due to convergence and in those situations when there is a pre-established structural affinity; however, such a comparison is not undertaken.
Another remarks pertains to Myers-Scotton's discussion of composite matrix language, which is characterized as a deviation from "desired target language", that is accounted for by the lack of "sufficient access" to the latter. This explanation is suitable, it seems, for the cases of individual attrition. Things get more complicated if the history of individual languages is concerned, such as e.g. the development of Romani dialects almost all of which have undergone convergence, although with different languages and to a different extent. On the one hand, the very existence of target language is doubtful in this case. On the other hand, a study of the real functioning of Romani dialects shows that speakers of these dialects have sufficient access to their native language in every particular moment of time. It's quite another matter that this very language has changed and the functional range of its use has narrowed under the influence of the surrounding population (which usually dominates).
2. A tendency to follow rigidly the System morpheme principle leads to unnecessary, as it seems, formalization of the notion of Embedded Language island. It is particularly so with respect to the so-called internal Embedded Language islands (see above), that are sometimes in fact just isolated word forms of embedded language. As an example of this the "unadapted" Russian verb forms in the North Russian Romani dialect (NRRD, cf. Rusakov 2001) may be given, that are used in this dialect along with the adapted nominal forms. (Curiously enough, these Russian verb forms and nominal forms are treated uniformly in metalinguistic comments of the speakers of this dialect; see Rusakov 2001 for more detail). From a purely formal point of view, nothing prevents treating these forms as instances of Embedded Language islands. Moreover, the reasons of the use of these forms fit nicely into Myers-Scotton's theoretical assumptions, namely, the lack of congruence with the corresponding Russian forms (most likely, on the level of morphological realization patterns, according to the Abstract Level model). It appears, however, that under such a purely formalistic approach, the difference between isolated "islands" of this type and those islands that are relatively long stretches of text gets unnoticed or underestimated. And still, this difference, however difficult it is to formalize it, seems to be crucial, and crucial for the processes of speech production that are generally essential for Myers-Scotton's approach. Here a reference to Pieter Muysken's conception could be of some help as he distinguishes between the two mechanisms o codeswitching (code-mixing, in Muysken's terminology), that is, between insertion and alternation. In Muysken's view, internal Embedded Language islands would be undoubted instances of insertion, while a vast majority of 'longer' Embedded Language islands would be treated as alternation. It must be admitted for the sake of objectivity, however, that the difference between alternation and insertion is less amenable to formalization.
3. Explicit rejection of the distinction between codeswitching and borrowings on the synchronic level highlights the problem of borrowing of grammatical morphemes (first of all, of late system morphemes according to Myers-Scotton). Myers-Scotton convincingly observes that the mechanism behind such borrowings is quite different from that behind lexical borrowings. An explanation of these phenomena as instances of arrested (after having begun) Matrix Language turnover, that is, as a first step towards a formation of mixed (split) language seems convincing and far-reaching as well. However, in order to avoid a possibility of degrading the notion of 'arrested Matrix Language turnover' to a mere synonym of high level of interference (in the spirit of Thomason and Kaufmann), it is vital to understand what properties are indeed shared (if there are such properties) by relatively infrequent but non-unique cases of borrowing of grammatical morphemes from another language (e.g. borrowing of the Russian prefixes to the NRRD, of Slavic verb prefixes and suffixes to Megleno-Rumanian, of Turkish verbal affixes to Asia Minor Greek). It may be noticed that a similar problem arises with respect to the rise of "classical" mixed (split) languages. Existing theories, among which Myers-Scotton's is one the most deeply grounded, provide convincing general patterns of their development; however, none of them is able to explain why has a particular very unusual configuration of the elements from the two languages emerged in this or that particular place and in this or that particular period of time. This situation is generally typical of historical linguistics, though.
4. The theoretical model advanced by Myers-Scotton is undoubtedly universal in nature. However, a question arises to what extent are the properties of the postulated processes dependent on the typological characteristics of the languages involved. An example of such dependence is provided by Myers-Scotton herself who relates frequent use of bare forms in codeswitching with left-branching character of the Matrix Language. There are, however, some problems of typological nature. As has been already mentioned above, Myers-Scotton uses the term 'morpheme' for both "the actual surface-level morphemes" and "the lemmas that support them". Thus, several abstract morphemes may correspond to a single surface one; this situation is first of all typical of inflexional languages. Myers-Scotton introduces a "pull down" principle for those cases when surface morpheme corresponds to "abstract" morphemes of different types (early and late). According to that principle "the entire element shows distribution patterns as if it were a late system morpheme" (305). Empirical data in support of this principle are provided in (Myers-Scotton & Jake 2001). The question, however, arises how does this principle work in case of inflexional languages.
As mentioned above, Myers-Scotton assumes that some word forms (of inflexional languages - A.R.) "may well be contained in single lemmas and therefore are not compositionally assembled". It is obvious that these cases are viewed as rather peripheral. It must be kept in mind, however, that there is no unanimity among linguists as to what forms are produced by rote resp. by rule in inflexional languages. The problem is even more complicated with respect to the second language (naturally, Embedded language is usually though not necessarily always a second language of a speaker). In any case, it is clear that the problem of holistic processing of inflected wordforms in codeswitching exists and needs further investigation. It may be also mentioned that wordforms of inflectional languages are not only characterized by the cumulative character of expressing morphological meanings, but also by the blurriness of morpheme boundaries, etc. It seems in this connection that intrusion of the Embedded language elements into the Matrix Language frame may cause additional troubles when checking on the level of morphological realization patterns. For instance, adaptation of the Russian verbs for their intrusion into the NRRD grammatical frame requires elicitation of the Russian verb stem, which is an intricate operation itself, especially if one takes into account the tangled character of the Russian morphonology.
5. Speaking about word order in the chapter devoted to convergence (Myers-Scotton points out that word order is an early system morpheme in some cases) Myers-Scotton almost does not touch upon the possibility of contact-induced changes that take place on superficial level, that is, changes of analogical character (syntactic calques). However, some scholars consider these to be a major type of contact-induced syntactic changes (see e.g. Joseph 1998). In any case, changes of this type must play a key role in the assimilation of syntactical frames of languages involved in contacts. Myers-Scotton notices on p. 202 that "abstract specifications for word orders at all levels of syntax also represent the level of morphological realization patterns". It remains, however, somewhat unclear what role do superficial changes play in Myers-Scotton's theory.
All what has been said above is not to be understood as criticism; rather, it was thought of as pointing out some problems, further elaboration of which could have been useful in my opinion. Some minor remarks and considerations are also scattered in Synopsis.
It is worth emphasizing once again that the book under review represents an extremely significant contribution to the study of language contacts.
Boussofara-Omar, Naima (2003) Review of Contact Linguistics: Bilingual Encounters and Grammatical Outcomes, by Carol Myers-Scotton. http://linguistlist.org/issues/14/14-1077.html
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Golovko, Evgenij (2000) Language and Ethnic Identity: Sociolinguistic Conditions for the Emergence of Mixed Languages, Paper presented at the workshop on Mixed Languages, University f Manchester, 12/2000.
Joseph, Brian D. (1998) Is Balkan Comparative Syntax Possible? www.ling.ohio-state.edu/~bjoseph/
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ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
ABOUT THE REVIEWER Alexander Yu. Rusakov is assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University, Department of General Linguistics. His research interests include language contacts, historical linguistics, Balkan linguistics, Albanian language, and Romani.