Embedded language

From Glottopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In codeswitching studies, the less important language is often called the embedded language, whose elements are inserted into the surrounding matrix language.

  • “...the participating languages are labelled in the following way. The ‘base’ language is called the matrix language (ML) and the ‘contributing’ language (or languages) is called the embedded language (EL). This terminology will be used in this book. I follow Joshi (1985) in how the terms matrix language and embedded language are used in regard to [codeswitching], while acknowledging that Jacobson (1977) seems to be the first to have used these terms in reference to [codeswitching], albeit in a different sense.” (Myers-Scotton 1993:20)


  • contributing language (vs. base language) (cf. Myers-Scotton 1993:20)
  • guest language (vs. host language) (Sridhar & Sridhar 1980)


  • Jacobson, R. 1977. The social implications of intrasentential codeswitching. In: Romo, R. & Paredes, R. (eds.) New directions in Chicano scholarship. San Diego: University of California at San Diego, 227-256. (Special issue of The New Scholar)
  • Joshi, A. 1985. Processing of sentences with intrasentential codeswitching.' In: Dowty, D.R. & Karttunen, L. & Zwicky, A. (eds.) Natural language parsing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 190-205.
  • Myers-Scotton, Carol. 1993. Duelling languages: Grammatical structure in codeswitching. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Sridhar, S.N. & Sridhar, K. 1980. The syntax and psycholinguistics of bilingual code-mixing. Canadian Journal of Psychology 34:407-416.