The Appearance of Persian-English Compound Verbs in Persian Structure

Marzieh Hadei, Rita A. R. Ramakrishna


This study pursues an explanation for Persian-English codeswitching in terms of language typological differences. In particular, it aims to show how English verbs occur in Persian structure and identify possible constraints, which occur between Persian and English verbal system. A mixed method design is chosen for the study and data collection includes tape-recordings of spontaneous conversations involving 12 Persian-English bilingual speakers. All bilingual complementiser phrases are transcribed, and all the classified English verbs are analysed to show how they occur in the bilingual, Persian-English complementiser phrases. The findings of the study reveal that the lack of congruity between the verbal system of Persian and English causes some constraints on the insertion of the English verbs. First, in all English elements in the findings of this study, there is noexample that shows English verb occurs as a single unit in the Persian structure. Second, no single case in the findings of this study shows a combination of a Persian verbal morpheme and an English bare infinitive verb. Third, there is no example in the entire corpus that shows the combination of English verb and Persian negation element. Thus, the occurrence of Persian-English bilingual compound verbs is the result of the mentioned constraints between these two languages.

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