Why do bilingual speakers code-switch (mix their two languages)? Among the several theo-ries that attempt to explain this natural and ubiquitous phenomenon, the triggering hypothesis relates code-switching to the presence of lexical triggers, specifically cognates and proper names, adjacent to the switch point. We provide a fuller, more nuanced and refined exploration of the triggering hypothesis, based on five large datasets in three language pairs, reflecting both spoken and written bilingual in-teractions. Our results show that words that are assumed to reside in a mental lexicon shared by both languages indeed trigger code-switching, that the tendency to switch depends on the distance of the trigger from the switch point and on whether the trigger precedes or suc-ceeds the switch, but not on the etymology of the trigger words. We thus provide strong, robust, evidence-based confirmation to several hypotheses on the relationships between lexical triggers and code-switching.
|Number of pages
|Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics
|Published - 2023
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023 Association for Computational Linguistics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Linguistics and Language
- Computer Science Applications
- Artificial Intelligence