The syntax of Moroccan Arabic/French and Moroccan Arabic/Standard Arabic code switching
Contact between different speech communities represents one breeding ground for change and accommodation which can affect the forms as well as the functions of language. Code switching (CS), as one result of this contact situation, is an important site to display the dominance of one language over another, or to witness the resolve of a speech community to incorporate another language so as to satisfy their needs, be them syntactic, lexical or pragmatic. The aim of this thesis is to trace down the formal manifestations of this type of language negotiation whereby switching occurs between two or more languages. It will be shown that, in a CS situation, collision of languages is highly regularised by specific syntactic features. A number of different models to CS structural constraints are considered, and one particular approach based on the analysis of selectional properties of the functional heads is advocated; this I will call the Functional Parameter Constraint (FPC). The underlying assumption of the FPC, which owes it theoretical motivation to recent syntactic research (e. g. Abney 1986, Ouhalla 1991, Chomsky 1995), is that interlanguage parameters, as opposed to language universals, constrain CS. Parameters are restricted to the features of functional categories given that their lexical counterparts are conceptually selected entries which are drawn from an invariant universal vocabulary, and therefore, are not to be parameterised (Chomsky 1995). Following Ouhalla (1991), three selectional properties for which functional categories can be parameterised cross-linguistically are identified, namely c-selection, m-selection and grammatical features. A corpus consisting of naturally occurring data was gathered to test the empirical validity of the hypothesis set for the study. The results of the examination of Moroccan Arabic/French and Moroccan/Standard Arabic bilingual conversations provide the sought empirical support.