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CUNY Syntax Supper: Vanessa Petroj (UConn)

NOV 19, 2013 | 6:30 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue




November 19, 2013: 6:30 PM




SPEAKER: Vanessa Petroj

TITLE: Codeswitching with TNP: Romanian and Serbo-Croatian in Interaction

This talk will illustrate and investigate pieces of a specific language interaction through the process of codeswitching (CS) between Romanian and Serbo-Croatian (SC). The CS in question is the informal speech of Romanian bilingual communities situated in the Republic of Serbia.This switch is of particular interest due to various factors. First, it introduces novel data into the literature on CS by adding Romanian and SC to the vast amount of language pairs discussed in this context. In addition, by examining the interaction between the two languages, it also contributes to the analysis of Romanian and SC separately. Second, the fact that Romanian and SC differ with respect to the DP/NP parameter makes the switch in this case particularly interesting. Namely, the striking differences between DP and NP languages established in Bošković (2005, 2008, 2012) are being combined here into a single unit, or language, to put it differently. Finally, dealing with the issues in the generative syntax framework, the chaotic CS constraints and rules will be looked at from inside out which may also contribute to our general understanding of CS.

While most SC nouns seem to integrate into the Romanian system morphologically and phonologically, adjectives are completely inflexible. Romanian morphophonology cannot be applied to them, and as far as the structure is concerned, the SC adjectives seem to bring additional modifications that consequently trigger semantic changes. More importantly, these modifications are characteristics of Serbo-Croatian language “bits” brought into the structure of Romanian.

In this talk, I will narrowly focus on the codeswitched Traditional Noun Phrase (TNP) constructions, that is, the mix between a Romanian DP and a SC NP, but also on the switch within the NPs. I will be focusing on two types of TNPs that contain:

1) Romanian (in)definite article and a SC codeswitched noun, and;

2) Romanian (in)definite article, a SC adjective and a Romanian/SC codeswitched noun. 

All are welcome - please do come!

The CUNY Syntax Supper is a series of biweekly talks on syntax and its interfaces with semantics and morphology, given by students, faculty, and visiting scholars, usually from institutions in the greater Metropolitan area.

Syntax Suppers are held in room 7102 at the Graduate Center on Tuesday evenings, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Syntax Suppers are an ideal opportunity for speakers to present and discuss results of their ongoing research in an informal setting.