The Role of Cognate Words, POS Tags and Entrainment in Code-Switching

Victor Soto, Nishmar Cestero, Julia Hirschberg


The linguistic or contextual stimuli that elicit code-switching are largely unknown, despite the fact that these are of key importance to understanding mixed language and building tools that can handle it. In this paper, we test the following hypotheses proposed in linguistics literature: first, that cognate stimuli are directly correlated to code-switching; second, that syntactic information facilitates or inhibits code switching; and third that speakers entrain to one another in code-switching in conversation between bilinguals. In order to test these hypotheses, we built a lexical database of cognate pairs for English Spanish. Using statistical significance tests on a corpus of conversational code-switched English Spanish, we found that a) there is strong statistical evidence that cognates and switches occur simultaneously in the same utterance and that cognates facilitate switching when they precede a code-switch, b) there is strong statistical evidence of the relationship between part-of-speech tags and code-switching and c) speakers tend to show converging entrainment behavior with respect to their rate of code-switching in conversation.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1099

Cite as: Soto, V., Cestero, N., Hirschberg, J. (2018) The Role of Cognate Words, POS Tags and Entrainment in Code-Switching. Proc. Interspeech 2018, 1938-1942, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1099.


@inproceedings{Soto2018,
  author={Victor Soto and Nishmar Cestero and Julia Hirschberg},
  title={The Role of Cognate Words, POS Tags and Entrainment in Code-Switching},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2018},
  pages={1938--1942},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1099},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1099}
}