Separable verbs in Aruban multilingual code-switching: Ta style di mi kier a daag mi mes uit.
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Germanic languages have a peculiar form of verbs that exhibit the ability to have the verb non-linearly adjacent to its particle, resulting in a Verb-Object-Particle (VOP) word order (Bennis, 1992; Wurmbrand, 2000; Barbiers et al., 2018). These co-called separable verbs are not present in Papiamento/u, yet often times speakers from Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao can be observed code-switching in Papiamento/u with them. The aim of this study is to provide an account of the structure of Papiamento-Dutch and Papiamento-English code-switching with a focus on these separable verbs as employed by Arubans. Taking into account the presence of separable verbs in Dutch and English but the lack thereof in Spanish and Papiamento, we expected to observe a clash between the verb phrases (VP) involved. Following González-Vilbazo & López’s (2011; 2012) argumentation for the structural representation of the bilingual – in this case multilingual – I-language, we expected to see an underlying dependency between T and little v (v), the influence of T on the morphological complexity of V, and that v and V could belong to different languages. Our corpus study consisted of three distinct corpora: the Geerman Corpus, the AFY Corpus, and the MPI CS Corpus. Across the board similar code-switched structures could be observed, namely Papiamento tense markers and a morphologically simplex separable verbs that showed VOP and VPO word orders. It was possible to make the following generalisations based on our results. Firstly, separable verb code-switched structures contain a compulsory Papiamento tense marker and a morphologically simplex separable verb; this tense marker is the overt spell-out of T. Secondly, head-T and head-v are required to belong to the same language in the code-switched derivation: Papiamento ø-marker is available for the root in V (regardless of the language). Lastly, the V and v can belong to two different languages; V may be a donor verb, but it is c-commanded within the structure by the language of v.