The 4M Model and
Russian-English CodeSwitching
Katerina Rouzina
Department of Slavic and East
European Languages and Cultures
The Ohio State University
Why Study Code-Switching?
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A bilingual: not two monolinguals in one*
Bilingualism as a separate and unique
phenomenon
Code-switching: the “use of two or more
linguistic varieties in the same conversation or
interaction.”**
*Grosjean (1989)
**Myers-Scotton and Ury (1977 p. 7)
*
The Fundamentals of CodeSwitching Scholarship
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Stylistic-discourse (e.g. Auer, Wardhaugh) vs.
syntactic (e.g. Poplack, Myers-Scotton)
Poplack*: CS governed by grammatical
constraints
MacSwan**: Minimalist approach to CS
Myers-Scotton***: CS is asymmetrical
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Matrix Language & Embedded Language
*Poplack (1980)
**MacSwan (1999)
***Myers-Scotton (1993)
Russian-English Code-Switching
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Sociological relevance: increasingly widespread since the
1970’s
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Scarcity of Russian-English CS research to date
– Existing: mostly stylistic-discourse approach
• Sichyova*: social motivations for CS in Russia
• Gregor**: social motivations for CS in NYC
–
Syntactic approach: Chirsheva’s study of grammatical
gender assignment in Russian-English code-switching***
* Sichyova (2005)
**Gregor (2002)
*** Chirsheva (2009)
Russian-English Code-Switching
 “Substantial
progress […] has been made through
the study of code-switching behaviors of many
diverse bilingual communities (e.g., German-Italian,
Finnish-English, French-Arabic, Swahili-English,
Hindi-English, Spanish-Nahuatl, etc). However, up
till now few studies have looked at code-switching
involving Slavic languages, and no studies have
examined the syntactic properties of Russian-English
code-switching.”*
 Uniqueness of Russian-English language pair
 Russian highly case-marked
*(Babyonyshev 2004). Abstract, FASL 13, 2004, University of South Carolina. No paper published.
Carol Myers-Scotton’s 4M Model
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“Universal model of code-switching and bilingual
language processing and production”*
Differential Access Hypothesis*
Morphemes classified by saliency in language
production
The earlier a morpheme’s saliency, the more ‘likely’
it is that it could come from the Embedded
Language in grammatical code-switching.
Myers-Scotton considers case to always be an
outsider, so highly inflected Russian is very useful in
contrast with English to test Myers-Scotton’s 4M
model.
*Myers-Scotton and Jake ( 2009a p. 336)
Conceptually Activated Morphemes
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Content morphemes & early system morphemes are
conceptually activated, or “chosen”
• Content morphemes: e.g. nouns, verbs, some prepositions, etc.
• Early system morphemes: e.g. English determiners, plurals
• Content morphemes and early system morphemes are:
– Activated by speaker pre-linguistic intentions
– Salient at level of mental lexicon
» Mental lexicon: speaker’s active store where lexical
items are collected & organized*
– Conceptually linked; in the book, book is content, the is early
system**.
* Maelmkjaer (2002, p. 291)
**Myers-Scotton (2002)
Structurally Assigned Morphemes
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Late system morphemes are structurally assigned
• Two types: bridges and outsiders; this study focuses on
outsiders:
• When the Matrix Language has “case-assigning verbs (and/or
prepositions)”*, case markers are late system morphemes
called outsiders*
• Called late because saliency realized only at level of the
formulator in language production**
– The formulator “consists of language-specific framebuilding procedures”***
*Myers-Scotton and Jake (2009a)
**Myers-Scotton and Jake (2009b)
***Myers-Scotton (2002)
The Study
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Does Russian-English CS support the 4-M model, and if so, to
what extent?
– Must outsider morphemes come from the ML in grammatical
CS?
– Are content morphemes the most likely of all the morphemes
to come from the EL in CS?
– Are early system morphemes less likely than content
morphemes but more likely than outsider morphemes to
come from the EL in CS?*
*Myers-Scotton and Jake (2009a)
Design
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Participants
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8 fluent Russian-English bilinguals ages 19-23
Immigrated from former USSR between ages of 1.5-12 years
3-Part Structure
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Written Task:
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Code-Switching Choices-- Fill-In-The-Blank
» Does participant use of system morphemes in CS support 4M?
Naturalness-- Rank on 1-4 Scale
» How does code-switching of different types of morphemes affect
their perceived grammaticality? An added level of analysis
Conversational Language Data: Naturalistic
Biographical Questionnaire: Influence of language background and
self-reported language dominance on CS
Analysis
Classification of Russian morphemes according to 4M Model
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Outsiders: all case markers: -e in
Zachem ty
na grass-e valjajesh’sja?
what-for you.SG on grass-PREP.SG roll-around
“Why are you rolling around on the grass?”*
(Shmitt, as cited in Myers Scotton and Jake 2009a )
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Early system morphemes – determiner etom in
Ya byla na etom conference(-e).
I was-SG-F at that-SG-M conference.
‘I was at that conference.’
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Content morphemes– proper noun Sveta and relative pronoun chto in
Thanks very much Sveta. But the point is chto… the point is chto…
Thanks very much Sveta. But the point is that… the point is that…
‘Thanks very much Sveta. But the point is that… the point is that…’
*
Findings: Written Task
When asked to rank how comfortable
they felt with the choice of the
preposition from the EL on a scale of 14, these 6 participants gave their choices
the following rankings:
Data provides support for claim that
content morphemes may come
from EL, resulting in grammatical CS
Da, I just came back s trip...
Yes, I only what came-back-SG-F from the
trip
‘Yes, I just came back from the trip.’
Naturalness Rankings
4
3.5
"Naturalness"
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
0
Natasha
Masha
Marina
Sveta
Dina
Narmina
Findings: Written Task
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Prepositions that are early system
morphemes, on the other hand, were less
likely to come from the EL
What are you doing na Spring Break?
What you will-SG do-INF on Spring Break?
What are you doing for Spring Break?
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Participants gave the above sentence the
rankings in this chart:
Content morphemes - e.g.,
prepositions conveying directionality
or motion - are more likely to come
from EL than prepositions which are early
system morphemes, supporting
Myers-Scotton and Jake (2009, 348).
4
"Naturalness"
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Naturalness Rankings
3
2
1
0
Natasha
Masha
Marina
Sveta
Dina
Narmina
Findings: Written Task
Sentences Case-Marked According to ML vs EL
9
Number of Sentences
8
7
6
5
ML
4
EL
3
2
1
0
Natasha Masha
Marina
Sveta
Dina
Narmina
Ivan
Findings: Written Task
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Generally, participants chose outsider morphemes from the ML.
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Crucially, however, we also see potential evidence against Myers-Scotton’s claim that case must be
marked according to the ML:
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4 of the 7 written task participants chose not to mark case on the word grass in the following sentence
with Russian ML
Zachem ty na grass valjajesh’sja?
what-for you.SG on grass-PREP.SG roll-around
“Why are you rolling around on the grass?”

4 of the 7 written task participants in the written task chose not to mark case on the word conference in the
following sentence with Russian ML
Ya byla na etom conference
I was-SG-F at that-SG-M (conference).
Findings: Conversational Data
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Oral Data supports 4M
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Provides examples of content morphemes and early system morphemes from the EL which support the
4-M model’s claim that these conceptually-activated morphemes can be taken from the EL, resulting in
grammatical CS, while outsider morphemes must remain in the ML for such CS to occur:
Tri dimension-alnye?
Three dimensional-PL-NOM-SUFF?
‘Three dimensional?
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It also provides many examples of well-formed EL islands and mixed constituents, which are codeswitched according to Myers’-Scotton’s Uniform Structure Principle, the foundation for the 4M model.
Biographical Questionnaire
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Demonstrates that self-reported proficiency in each language (balanced bilingual?) as well as
sociolinguistic factors such as lifelong attitudes toward CS affects code-switching choices
-Ivan’s consistent choice of case from the EL in the written task, for instance, and his subsequent
inconsistency with the rest of the participants, can potentially be explained by factors such as a negative
attitude toward code-switching and a self-reported imbalance in language dominance (one greater than
that reported by other participants)
Conclusions
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The findings generally support the 4M Model.
Most of the time, outsider morphemes must be in the
ML in Russian CS.
In a couple of notable exceptions, however, the data
demonstrates participants do not always choose to
mark outsider morphemes.
We find such examples particularly in instances where
prepositional phrases are found in the data.
Significance: may contradict Myers-Scotton’s claim that
structure must always from the ML.
Possibilities for Further Study
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How do other criteria, such as
phonological and semantic criteria, come
into play in CS morpheme choices?
Chirsheva’s Non-Morphological Criteria:
Implications for Case Assignment in RussianEnglish CS
a) Ty slyshala ob etom movie?
You heard-PAST-2P-SG-F about this-PREP-SG-M/N movie?
‘Have you heard about this movie?’
b) Ty slyshala ob etoy movie?
You heard-PAST-2P-SG-F about this-PREP-SG-F movie?
‘Have you heard about this movie?’
In
the above examples, a) received a higher average grammaticality ranking than b).
Gender is case in Russian, so Myers-Scotton would propose that gender should be in the ML.
However, in Russian prepositional case usually takes the -e marker on the end in the masculine
and feminine, and neuter endings (often –e) take a null marker on the end. Thus 4M does not
account for why a) ranked higher than b).
One hypothesis: perhaps Chirsheva’s criteria from grammatical gender assignment in
Russian-English CS are at play.
She proposed that phonological and semantic criteria took precedence over morphological
ones.
Option 1: Movie= фильм/fil’m, masculine. Ranking of a) and b) above seems to follow
Chirsheva’s pattern of semantic analogy: allocation of a noun to gender of its Russian equivalent.
 Option 2: Movie = кинo/kino, neuter. Ranking follows semantic analogy.
 My prediction: option 1 seems more likely as фильм is used more frequently in community
in the study due to it being a borrowing. Need further research to substantiate this claim!
Possibilities for Further Study
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Conducting a study with a larger-scale
participant pool and formal statistical analysis
Comprehensive analysis of major theories of
intrasentential CS (Myers-Scotton, Poplack,
MacSwan) using Russian-English data*
A different direction:
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Long-term: Broad-scope analysis of variation
between (and within!) different Russian-English CS
communities
*(Babyonyshev 2004). Abstract, FASL 13, 2004, University of South Carolina. No paper published.
References
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The 4M Model and Russian-English CodeSwitching
Katerina (Katya) Rouzina
[email protected]
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The 4M Model and Russian-English Code