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What Is Code Switching and Why Does It Matter? work and Types Of Code Switching

Referencing Styles : APA | Pages : 2

The humans have one of the most significant ability, which is the ability of communicating with each other. We can share our thoughts, opinions and emotions with the help of the communication, which is remarkable skill. In case of communities that are bilingual, they use certain methods by which they make their way of communication with others more meaningful and effective. The most important trick is the ‘code switching’ and the use of code switching can be found on the classes of the foreign language and other fields. In simple words, code switching is the process of using two languages in a disclosure or sentence. This is absolutely a normal tendency or natural conflation among the people of bilingual communities. Code switching also known as the language alternation. The occurrence of the code switching only happens when the speaker is alternating between two languages while speaking, when the person is supposed to speak only one language.

The following section is the detailed discussion about the examples of the code switching. People working in the hospitals, multi-national companies and private sector usually have the high rate of using code switching as people from different cultures and languages use these places. If the speaker cannot explain or express the topic to the listener  with efficiency, then the speaker takes the help of some other language to continue the conversation with the listener. The examples of code switching are –

Code switching between the language English and Spanish –

Ana Celia Zentella, a researcher gave some example of code switching after she heard some conversation form her work. She works with some people who speak both English and Spanish. The following conversation between people who lives in New York and are bilingual.

Maria: Can I stay with Sam?

Lolita: You should ask mami and papi before going.

Maria: Ok

Lolita: I have to leave before 10am. Y son las nueve y cuarto [translation:

And it's quarter past nine].

Here, in the above conversation, the Spanish language has been used along with the English. The language Spanish is highlighted by Italic style and the normal English is written in normal English.

Code switching between the language English and Turkish –

Speaker: Hey! Do not you have exams next month? şimdiden çalışmaya başlamalısın.

Here in the above example the Turkish language is also highlighted by the italic style. The meaning of the sentence is ‘you should start working already’.

Code switching between the language English and Spanish –

Speaker: Gracias for the beautiful present. Está awesome!

In the above example, the meaning of the first word is ‘thank you’.

Code switching between the language English and French -

Speaker: Are we going to stay chez ta mère demain?

The above given example is the combination of the language English and French. The speaker is asking whether they are going to the listener’s mother’s place or not.

Now we are going to discuss about the various types code switching that are available –

There are different names that are used to describe all the types of the code switching.

Intersentential switching: The special feature of this code switching technique is that the occurrence of this technique takes place outside the sentence that is being used. Sometimes, this type of code switching is also defined as the "extrasentential" switching. The example of this type of switching is "Ani wideili. Did anything happen?" and the example given is the combination of Assyrian-English.

Intra-sentential switching: This kind of code switching takes place when someone is taking that means the use of this code switching occurs in between a clause or sentence.

Tag-switching: The specialty or feature of this code switching technique is that the switching takes place in place of some words, tag phrase or both when someone speaks.

Intra-word switching: This type of code switching takes place within a word. The occurrence takes place as a boundary of morpheme.

Most of the code switching related studies is based on the focus on the switching of the intra-sentential type of code switching. The intra-sentential code switching in result produces many structures of grammar, which are hybrid and those require detailed explanation. The advantage of the other types of the code switching is that, other types do not have much complexity as the inter-sentential type have. The other types simply follow the conversion of sentence from one language to the other with respect to grammar. Alternational code-switching have a special feature and the feature is combining the grammars taken from both the languages and emerging a new grammar which is the combination. Insertional type of code switching has also a important feature and that is the use of inserting elements to morphosyntactic frame of another language taken from one language.

There is another type of code switching which is known as the Situational code switching. This type of code switching is used by the certain speech community. The tendency of this code switching technique is that people use it according to the various social situations using languages, which are different. This type is also used to change and social setting which is well established in order of switching linguistic structures. There are some languages, which are more suitable for some particular group, social gathering, setting and topic than other people surrounding them are. Three types of code switching included here and the name of those types are metaphorical, unmarked discourse and situational. Jan-Petter Bloom and John J. Gumperz introduced Metaphorical and Situational types of code switching. The division was suggested between the types metaphorical code switching and situational code switching were described in the paper published by both Bloom and Gumper. Dell Hymes and Gumperz, these both linguistics described the difference between the types metaphorical and situational code switching. Between the metaphorical and situation code switching there is distinction is which very important. A situation is redefined when varieties are alternated in case of situational switching. Governing norms are being changed here. In case of Metaphorical switching, a situation is enriched by the alternation. In case of metaphorical code switching, conversation context is completely undisturbed but the context changes and sticks fast to the social context and this includes the people who are involved in the conversation. The role of the unmarked discourse code switching is to be used as markers when there is a change in the conversation context. An example of this type is used in case of quoting something.

Code switching is an important matter to the people who are bilingual. There are numerous reasons that a person uses code switching in the conversation. The code switching matters because with the help of the same the people can cover their deficiency for fluency in some language. The main use of code switching happens to express some views with appropriate expression. With the help of code switching, a speaker can continue his or her speech without any disturbance. The use of code switching provides linguistic advantage to bilingual people instead creating an obstruction in communication. Some people can express more emotions and nuanced attitudes with the help of code switching. The code switching provides a huge word pool to the bilingual people. Code switching can help the speaker to be efficient in his second language along with allowing the speaker to increase impact of the speech. The importance of code switching is-

People use the code switching when a topic is very hard to explain and the speaker is not very efficient in some particular topic. Hence, the speaker switches to some different language to explain the same topic. Other than this, when someone has to use a sentence that was said by another person, which is known as quoting, then people generally use code switching. When someone show affection, gratitude or solidarity to someone, usually people use language, which may not be the speaking language. People may use language of some other countries in which they are comfortable. Whenever, people are having some struggle in clarifying something, they use some other language to clarify the same thing. In case of giving command to someone, people use code switching to soften or to strengthen the language. Two or more people in a group may use code switching to express their identification in the group.

Code switching works in a particular way. When the speaker is constantly switching the language during the conversation between two languages, code switching occurs. People who use the code switching is known as the bilingual people. The main working procedure of the code switching is to substitute a particular phrase, word or sentence of any language with some other language and the words, phrases and sentences used has the same meaning. The bilingual people do not only use the code switching but normal people also use code switching sometimes during the normal conversation to show their feelings or to express something. When we become aware of the code switching then we can see the phenomenon or the tendency of this everywhere. We can get an idea of the people surrounding us along with their culture, ethnicity and the race from which they belong.

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