Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Evidence for insertional codemixing: Mixed compounds and French nominal groups in Brussels Dutch

Treffers-Daller, Jeanine


Jeanine Treffers-Daller


In this paper we analyze mixed compounds, such as legume+winkel ‘vegetable shop, greengrocery‘ and winter+paletot ‘winter coat’ which contain a French and a Dutch element, and French nominal groups, such as carte d'identité ‘identity card’, and journal parlé ‘radio news’, which bilingual speakers from Brussels frequently insert into Brussels Dutch utterances. Using Muysken's (2000) typology of bilingual speech, we claim that the mixed compounds and the nominal groups display the characteristics of insertional codemixing. In addition, some evidence for the existence of a continuum between borrowing and codeswitching can be obtained from these examples. As the multimorphemic units that are inserted into Dutch are neither single words, nor full constituents, their status in the lexicon raises interesting issues for researchers interested in the interface between syntax and the lexicon (see also Backus, 2003). We try to argue that nominal groups such as carte d'identité and journal parlé are probably best seen as lexical templates or constructional idioms (Booij, 2002b). The insertion of French constructional idioms in Brussels Dutch represents an innovation in the lexical patterns that are available to speakers of this language, which is highly relevant for theories of language change. © 2005, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2005
Journal International Journal of Bilingualism
Print ISSN 1367-0069
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 3-4
Pages 477-506
Keywords borrowing, codemixing, constructional idioms, Dutch, French, language contact
Public URL
Publisher URL

Downloadable Citations