Code-switching Defined as

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Switching from one language to language within a single speech situation Refers to alternating between one or more languages or dialects “I am so anxious about the trip. Kampung I jauh. About 5 hours drive, tau!” Characterises the sociolect of bilingual speech communities (sociolect - a variety of language associated with a particular social group) Members have the grammatical competence to code-switch


In some instances, code-switching is necessary – speaker’s lesser degree of grammar competence For example:  A person who received specialised education in a second language – switch to native language when talking about that specialisation


People sometimes code-switch within a domain or social setting For example: Sarah: I think everyone’s here. John: Except Mary. She said she will be late Sarah: She’s here. Kia ora Mary. Haere mai (Hi Mary. Come in) Mary: Kia ora e hoa (Hello my friend)


Code-switch occurs as there is an obvious change in the situation with an arrival of a new member Although – meeting was conducted in English, Sarah switches to Maori to greet Mary This shows an expression of solidarity (team spirit / identity) Code-switch = to a particular participant or addressee


Another example:  A Polish family living in London used Polish at home.  A local priest visited them, and everyone switched to English  This shows a change in the social situation and takes positive account of the presence of a new participant


People code-switch for social reasons too – signal a speaker’s ethnic identity and solidarity with the addressee For example:  Scottish Highlanders who are not proficient in Gaelic use brief phrases and words to express their identification with local Gaelic speech community • There are also speakers who use tags for this purpose too


For example: (a) Tamrin: Engari (So), now we turn to more important matters. (Switch from Maori to English) (b) Peng: Confisicated by Customs, da gai (probably) (Switch between English and Cantonese

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In (a), Tamrin uses a Maori Tag at the beginning of his utterance while in (b), Peng uses a final tag. This type of switching is called emblematic switching or tag switching This switch – simply an interjection, a tag or a sentence filler This is to show an ethnic identity marker


(c) A: Well, I’m glad I met you, ok? B: andale pues (Ok swell) and do come again, Mm? (Switch between Spanish and English)  In (c) the exchange is between two Mexican Americans in the US  By using the Spanish tag, B signalled to A that he recognised the relevance of their shared ethnic background  The tag shows a solidarity marker between two minority ethnic group members


Code-switching motivated by the identity and relationship between participants = social distance A switch reflects a change = the status relationship between the speakers / formality of their interaction Different kinds of relationships = expressed through different codes More formal relationships involve status differences too


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Like doctor-patient, administrator-client are often expressed in the H variety – Spanish in Paraguay and standard Zairean Swahili in Bukayu Friendly relationships – neighbours or friends involves minimal social distance = expressed the L variety Guarani in Paraguay and Kingwana in Bakayu Speakers – code-switch from L code to H code or vice versa


For example: (David and Peter are neighbours) David: Hello Peter. How is your son? Peter: Oh, he is much better now. Thank you David. David: That’s great. I am happy to hear that. DO YOU THINK YOU COULD HELP ME WITH THIS PESKY FORM? I AM HAVING A GREAT DEAL OF DIFFICULTY WITH IT. Peter: OF COURSE. GIVE IT HERE…
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From the exchange above – nothing appears to change Only the topic of discussion and the code The change of topic = a change in the relationship Roles changes as neighbours to their civil servant and member of the public Swtich from a personel interaction to a more formal transaction Role switch is commonly associated with a code switch in a multilingual communities


Switch code within a speech event to discuss a particular topic  Bilinguals = easier to discuss particular topics in one code than the other For example:  Chinese students living together in a flat often choose to speak Cantonese with each other.  Choose to use English = discuss their studies  Learnt the vocabulary of economics or linguistics or physics in English  Terms not known in Cantonese, E.g – electron, capital formation, morpheme  Code switch known as referential oriented code


Another example of referentially oriented code switch is when a speaker switches code to quote a person For example: (a) Ben: That’s what she said. Ki a matou Ngati Porou, te Maoritanga I papi ake I te whenua (We of the Ngati Porou tribe believe the origins of maoritanga are in the earth)  Switch involves the words that the speaker (Ben) is claiming the quoted person (she)  Ben gives the impression that these are the exact words the speaker (she) used


Switch to quote a proverb or well-known saying For example: (Lee is discussing with a group of Chinese students) Lee: Today people get divorced easily. In our society it is not the same. Jia gou sui gou, jia ji sui ji (If you have married a dog, you follow a dog, if you have married a chicken, you follow a chicken)  Code switch corresponds exactly to the proverb in Chinese = recitation is very clear  Is referentially motivated switches – speaker wants to be accurate  Exact words are important  Functions: (a) to emphasise the precise message content (b) to signal ethnic identity  Have affective and referential function


Code switching = affective functions  Most bilinguals or multilinguals are adept in exploiting rhetorical possibilities of their linguistics repertoire For example: (a) Standard Norwegian – language of the school but in class the students – rude remarks or jokes about the teacher in their local dialect (b) In Paraguay – Guarani (L variety) – is more appropriate for joking and humourous anecdotes while discussing political issues – Spanish  Language switch – L to the H variety  To express disapproval – the speaker is angry


For example: Father: Time to do your homework, Robbie (Robbie ignores him and carries on playing) Father: Mr Robert Harris if you do not come in immediately now, you will face the consequences which you will regret.  The use of two different styles of English  Switch – involves a move from an intimate and friendly style to a formal style  Emphasises his anger and disapproval


A skilled bilingual moves switches into a different dimension  No obvious explanatory factors for the specific switches, for example from Buang and Tok Pisin For example: (Tok Pisin in italics and underlined. Buang is not italicised)

“Ikamap trovel o wonem, mi ken stretim olget toktok. Orit. Pasin ke ken be menti, ti ken nyep la, su lok lam memba” (If any problem comes up, I will be able to settle all the arguments. OK. This is the way – the money there is there can’t go back to the shareholders”
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No new person joined the audience at any point No change in the setting No change in the topic No quotations or even sign of anger nor humourous utterances


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Switching between codes with such rapid, the speaker effectively draws on the different associations of the two codes Speaker used Buang (a local tribal language) = his belonging and emphasises his membership – community Speaker used Tok Pisin (lingua franca) = his role as an entreprenuer and his superior knowledge and experience Buang symbolises: - high solidarity - equal status - friendly feelings Tok Pisin symbolises: - social distance - status - referential information of the business world


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Code switches for rhetorical reasons – drawing on the association of both codes Is known as ‘metaphorical switching’ Rapid switching – code-mixing (mean – mixing the codes indiscriminately) The switches are very well motivated in relation to the symbolic or social meanings of the two codes Each code has a set of social meanings Distinctive conversational style – bilinguals and mutltilinguals Operates like metaphor to enrich the communication Able to convey – affective meaning as well as information


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Words derived from another language English has borrowed thousands of words from other languages - some are used without adaptation, but others have been changed slightly to fit in with the patterns of English Example:
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‘bas’ in BM is borrowed from ‘bus’ (English) ‘amok’ in English is borrowed from ‘amuk’ (BM) ‘petit’ in English is borrowed from ‘petit’ (French)


Lexical borrowing  Speakers will often use a term from their mother tongue – when conversing a second language  Reason – they may not know the appropriate word  Triggered by the lack of vocabulary  Borrow words from another language – express a concept or describe an object  Mainly involves single words – nouns  Borrowed words – adapted to the speaker’s first language  Pronounced and used grammatically – part of the first language  For example: - New Zealand English – borrowed ‘mana’ from Maori - no exact equivalent to its meaning in English - though can be translated as ‘prestige’ or ‘high status’


Language Planning Language:  the centre of social life  the access to power and influence  establishes social class and ethnic identity  All these influence the desire to engineer language and language choice


Definition (a) Language planning:  any effort to modify language form or us  can be considered the decision making process, either formally or implicitly stated regarding such issues related to language as which languages will be taught, to whom and for what purposes (

(b) Language policy  a more neutral term after the failure of national planning activities  Implementation of this policy to the extent practicable, across all possible domains of language used referred to in the policy (c) Status planning  rules set up to determine, officiate or ban of each language when two or more languages are involved  refers to planning that involves attitudes towards the language  Making people more receptive towards the use of English in teaching Mathematics and Science


(d) Corpus planning (DPB):  the effort to fix or modify the structure of the language after status planning is made  Focuses on the language itself  Involve in standarding the language and development (e) Language standardisation:  attempt to standardise grammar and pronunciation towards a prescribed norm (f) Normativism:  Language standardisation by linguists to keep the language pure  Maintain the linguistics consistency and standards of a language


Four different typical ideologies that may motivate language planning - linguistic assimilation - linguistic pluralism - vernacularisation - internationalisation Linguistic assimilation - a belief that everyone, regardless of ethnicity or cultural and linguistic background, should learn one dominant language Linguistic pluralism - opposite of linguistic assimilation - promotes the use of more than one language - can be complete or partial - partial – the use of different languages only in certain select situations


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Vernacularisation Restoration or elaboration of an indigenous language and its adoption as an official language

Internationalism - When a non-indigenous language of wider communication is adopted either as an official language or for education


A language status decision produces a situation where some people need to learn a new language For example: - In Finland, the decision to recognise both Finnish and Swedish as official languages. - Finns must learn Swedish and Swedes Finish Language acquisition planning and language education policy is involved when a government decides to have foreign languages taught in school A national policy to develop literacy in a particular language is also a kind of language acquisition policy


Language diffusion policy occurs when a country or some social groups attempt to encourage other people to learn their language For example: - In religious missionary work, Islam spreads Arabic - Under national concerns, Russian is spread throughout former USSR and Sovietdominated Eastern Europe


Planning for a national official language - Generally four interrelated steps  Selection  Codification  Elaboration of function  Acceptance


Selection - choosing a variety or code to be develop - a variety or combination of varieties can be selected and developed - great social and political significance – recognised as prestigious by community For example: In Tanzania, the first President of Tanzania chose Swahili, a language of the Bantu language family – widely used in the country as a lingua franca
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Codification - standardising its structural or linguistic features - kind of language processing is called corpus planning - agencies or academies – produce dictionaries and grammar – define what is correct and incorrect - For example: DBP - decisions made by these organisations – shared and accepted – users of the language


Elaboration of Function - extending its function for the use of new domains - necessary to develop linguistic resources for handling new concepts and contexts - selected variety must cater for various functions and situations - such as government, educational, business, scientific and others - require additional linguistic items – process of borrowing Acceptance - people’s attitude to the variety must be considered - steps must be needed to enhance its prestige - must be accepted as the standard language - encourage people to develop pride in the language or loyalty towards it


Language Shift in different communities - is a description of changes in the language due to factors such as proximity to a larger or more dominant language or social attitudes toward other languages

For example: Meena is a British Hindu woman who lives in Manchester. She moved here with her family when she was five years old. Now she is 18 years old. At home – speaks Gujerati – parents / grandparents At work – speaks English -


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Pattern of language – at work has gradually shifted over a period of 13 years At one stage – Gujerati but now she uses English Typical example of a person using a minority language in a predominantly monolingual culture and society Over a period of time – language of wider society displaces the minority language mother tongue Migrant families provide an obvious example of language shift


Factors that lead a community to shift language (a) for communicating - migrant families meet English – at school - need to communicate and interact with others – teachers / other children - English becomes the normal language (b) pressure from the wider society - immigrants – sound and look different and often regard as threatening – majority group


- immigrants – pressure to conform in all kinds of ways – one of which is language shift - Monolingual countries – England, Australia and New Zealand expect immigrants to speak English - speaking good English is often regarded as a sign of successful assimilation - gradually shift from using Italians, Vietnamese, etc to using English - take three or four generations


(c) Political and Economic factors - During the World War II, Japan invaded South East Asia, Japanese was used as the lingua franca. - Japanese was taught in schools, official transaction and economic advancement - used as an official language in Malaya - expressed formality and social distance - when colonial powers such as France, Portugal and United Kingdom invaded other countries – imposed their languages along their rule


- Aboriginal people – Australia and American Indian people – US lost their languages – colonial rule - are swamped by English – dominant group and their numbers – decimated by warfare and diseases - over the time – communities shifted to the coloniser’s language - shift location and language for the need for work - Irish, Scottish, Gaelic and Welsh – shifted to England – a job - need English for their job success and social wellbeing / to make friends


Language Shift:  Shift towards the dominant powerful group  Dominant group has little incentive to adopt the language of the minority  Dominant language – status, prestige and social success  Used in more ‘glamour’ contexts – for formal setting


As the domains in which speakers use the language shrink, the speakers of the dying language become gradually less proficient This will lead to language loss


For example: - Annie is a young speaker of Dyirbal, an Australian Aboriginal language. - She speaks English which she learnt at school - No written Dyirbal texts for her to read and enrich the language - Few and few contexts for her to use the language - Annie will become less and less proficient in it (page 57)


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What Annie is experiencing is LANGUAGE LOSS She uses English for most purposes Her vocabulary in Dyirbal has shrunk and shrunk Language will retreat and is used only in the home Finally it is restricted to personal activities It is on its way to extinct The next few generations will be less proficient in the language



Language loss has the following characteristics There is a gradual reduction in the complexity and diversity of structural features of the language Speakers’ sound rules get simplified Grammatical patterns – less complex Vocabulary gets smaller and smaller Mainly used for ritual or ceremonial occasions Hence this will lead to language death

Language Death - Languages can die - Refers to when they no longer have any speakers - Or when they do not serve any viable function - Occurs when (a) there is a subtle introduction of another language – used in important societal domains and functions (b) the population of speakers of the language disappears for whatever reason (genocide) (c) there is a forceful imposition of another language


(d) parents are reluctant or unable to pass on a language to their children (e) the language ceases to serve communicative functions (f) the community of speakers is not stable or expanding


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