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Muysken, P.C.

Muysken, P.C.

Pieter Muysken, born in Oruro, Bolivia, in 1950. Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam. Professor of Linguistics, in particular Socio-Linguistics and Creole Studies, at the University of Amsterdam (†2021).

VND Fellow (1 September 1995 – 30 June 1996)

My principal purpose this year was to finish a book provisionally called “The Language Fortress: A Grammar of Code-Mixing”. It is now ready to go to the publisher for final editing. In this book I discuss the issue of how languages are kept apart and when they are mixed in utterances in bilingual speech. Three types of mixing were distinguished: the insertion of elements (words or constituents) from one language into another; the alternation of two languages in different parts of the sentence; the use of words from different languages in a sentence pattern shared by them. The choice by bilingual speakers of one of these three types is determined by a number of factors: the features of the languages involved and their (dis)similarity; the possible existence of strong norms about monolingual language use; the competence of the speaker in either language.

During the second semester I worked together with Annick De Houwer (Antwerp) on a state-of-the-art report on “Determinants on bilingual language use”, which we hope to publish in a leading journal.