Doubling in Wolof-French Bilingual Speech
Keywords:Bilingual speech, codeswitching, grammar, doubling, Wolof, French
This paper presents an analysis of the phenomenon of doubling in the context of Wolof-French codeswitching where the French subordinating conjunction comme “as” and its Wolof counterpart ni, often appear in succession. More specifically, the paper analyses the different patterns underlying the structure of these two conjunctions in the mixed sentence. The first observation is that doubling occurs either in the sentence initial position or between the independent clause and subordinate one. This suggests that each double corresponds both languages’ word order in the sense that in both Wolof and French, subordinating conjunctions can occupy the initial and middle position of the sentence. The study also indicates that the Wolof conjunction ni always occurs at the beginning of the subordinate clause, otherwise, the sentence becomes ungrammatical. For this reason, we claim that the Wolof conjunction (and not the French one) combines the subordinate clause to the independent one. Also, this is why the French conjunction comme may be dropped from the mixed sentence while the omission of the Wolof ni makes it ungrammatical. Using the Matrix Language Frame (MLF) model to explain the indispensability of the Wolof conjunction, it is shown that this subordinating conjunction is a bridge system morpheme. Like outsider system morphemes, earlies and bridges also come from Wolof, the matrix language in Wolof-French codeswitching.
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