Title: Points of connection between linguistics and speech technology with regard to code-switching
The study of multilingualism presents a unique challenge within the discipline of linguistics since, without exception, the major linguistic theories have been developed from a monolingual orientation. However, no language is completely insulated from all others; there is invariably some evidence of language contact in every grammar. In the speech of multilinguals, these effects can be significant. In this talk, we focus on the overt forms of language contact, as manifested by the phenomena of borrowing and code-switching. We will also touch on the covert form of contact, what we call convergence. Our aim is threefold: (i) to provide a comprehensive overview of the syntactic, lexical, phonetic, and pragmatic effects of borrowing, code-switching, and convergence; (iii) to examine the theories that attempt to account for linguistic patterns of codeswitching and borrowing; and (iii) to highlight points of connection to speech technologies.
Barbara E. Bullock (Ph.D., Linguistics, University of Delaware 1991) is Professor of Linguistics in the Department of French & Italian at the University of Texas. She specializes in the effects of bilingualism and language contact on linguistic structure, particularly on the phonetic systems. Her research projects investigate sociophonetics, code-switching and borrowing, language variation and change, and computational approaches to multilingualism. With colleagues and students, she has begun to explore the power of corpus linguistics and NLP as effective tools in research on bilingual speech forms working to quantify and visualize language mixing and its intermittency to enable cross-corpus comparisons and linguistic generalizations.
Almeida Jacqueline Toribio (Ph.D., Linguistics, Cornell University 1993) is Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Texas. Her research in formal linguistics investigates patterns of morphological and syntactic variation across languages and dialects as well as structural patterns of language mixing in bilingual code-switching; her complementary work in sociolinguistics considers the ways in which variables such as ethnicity, race, gender, literacy, and national origin are encoded through linguistic features and language choices. Her investigations employ diverse methods, from experimental elicitation, to ethnographies of rural and urban communities, to computational analyses of literary texts and popular media.