Simulating Spanish-English code-switching: El modelo está generating code-switches

Tsoukala, C., Frank, S. L., Van den Bosch, A., Kroff, J. V., & Broersma, M. (2020). Simulating Spanish-English code-switching: El modelo está generating code-switches. In E. Chersoni, C. Jacobs, Y. Oseki, L. Prévot, & E. Santus (Eds.), Proceedings of the Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics (pp. 20-29). Stroudsburg, PA, USA: Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL).
Multilingual speakers are able to switch from
one language to the other (“code-switch”) be-
tween or within sentences. Because the under-
lying cognitive mechanisms are not well un-
derstood, in this study we use computational
cognitive modeling to shed light on the pro-
cess of code-switching. We employed the
Bilingual Dual-path model, a Recurrent Neu-
ral Network of bilingual sentence production
(Tsoukala et al., 2017) and simulated sentence
production in simultaneous Spanish-English
bilinguals. Our first goal was to investigate
whether the model would code-switch with-
out being exposed to code-switched training
input. The model indeed produced code-
switches even without any exposure to such
input and the patterns of code-switches are
in line with earlier linguistic work (Poplack,
1980). The second goal of this study was to
investigate an auxiliary phrase asymmetry that
exists in Spanish-English code-switched pro-
duction. Using this cognitive model, we ex-
amined a possible cause for this asymmetry.
To our knowledge, this is the first computa-
tional cognitive model that aims to simulate
code-switched sentence production.
Publication type
Proceedings paper
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