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A term paper submitted to the department of English in partial

fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of license in


Prepared by: Supervised by:

El Bakri Jawad Prof. Khabir Ahmed

Academic Year

Marking Sheet

Student’s Name: El Bakri Jawad

Registration Number: 1212598

Read and approved by:

Supervisor: Prof. Khabir Ahmed

Second reader:

Note to Teachers: For administrative record reasons, this form
will be filed separately from the term paper.


Student name : El Bakri Jawad

Student Number: 1210102022

I declare that I am fully aware that plagiarism

is not only morally wrong but is legally
penalized. Therefore; I declare that this
Research Paper entitled Code Switching is the
product of my own work, that it has not been
submitted before for any degree or
examination in any other university, and that
all the sources I have used or quoted have
been indicated and acknowledge by means of
complete references.


Date : ……………………………………..


To those who loved me since my birth, to

my lovely and dear parents.
To my precious sister and all who support
me financially and morally.


My great and precious thanks go to my

supervisor Prof. Khabir Ahmed to
whom I am very grateful and indebted
for his perpetual help and his valuable
guidance, recommendation and advice
which were very crucial and essential to
achieve this modest research. My
special thanks also go to my mother
Halima who has motivated and
stimulated me during my schooling
career, and all my family members that
provided me with some assistance.


Introduction …………………………………………………………………. 8
I. Code Switching in conversation……………………….9
1. 1. Code Switching in Communication: ……….….....9
1. 2. Code Switching and Bilingualism: ……………....11
1. 3. Code Switching in Context: ……………………...12
1. 4. An Aspect: ……………………………………....13
1. 4. 1. Grammatical Constraints of CS: ………..13
1. 5. Approaches to Code Switching: ………………….14
1. 5. 1. The Types of Code Switching: …………..14
1. 5. 2. Borrowing as Part of CS: ………………..15
II. CS in Bilingual Children and its reasons ………………16
2. 1. Strategies of CS in Bilingual Children: ………….16
2. 2. Code Switching and Language Contact: …………18
2. 3. Social Factors of Code Switching: ………………..19
2. 3. 1. Macro Factors: ……………………………19
2. 3. 2. Micro Factors: …………………………….20
2. 4. Identity Construction and CS: ………….................21
2. 4. 1. CS in English Newspapers: ……………….21

2. 4. 2. The Purpose of CS in Advertisements: …...22
III. Code Switching……………………………………….23
3. 1. Code Switching and Dialect: ……………………23
3. 2. CS in Foreign Language Classroom: ……………24
3. 2. 1. Code Switching in Schools: …………….24
3. 3. CS and Functions: ……………………………….25
3. 3. 1. Test in Code Switching: ……………......25
3. 4. Categories and Roles of CS: ……………………26

Summary and Conclusion ………………………………………………29


This study is concerned with certain targets. The main one
is that it revolves around providing good discussion on the
phenomenon of Code Switching, trying to make it as much
clearly as possible and tackling it from different angles. It is said
that Code Switching has been a point that attracts many
authors to be interested in; therefore, I am going to corroborate
and enrich my research with many valuable references.

Firstly, I am going to deal with CS in the concept of

communication. It is observed that CS is more applicable in
conversations of bilingual speakers, restricted to certain
contexts and undergoes many grammatical constraints. It is
also divided into many types including borrowing as model

Secondly, I am going to tackle CS as an essential notion in

bilingual children and advertisement with discussing its main
factors. It is observed that there are different approaches are
interested in the study of CS, such as the sociolinguistic
approach which is based on describing the reasons that make
speakers switch between languages.

Finally, I am going to be concerned with the relationship

between CS and dialect, and I am going to be also interested in
the roles, functions and categories of Code Switching in relation
to school.

I. Code Switching in Conversation

1. 1. Code Switching in Communication:

CS is obviously the term of using several languages or language

varieties during the same conversation; it is always limited to bilingual
individuals. Half of the world population uses more than one language
in their communication and their everyday life. Auer, P. (1995:51)
relates CS to general characteristics of language which is a particular
realization of a code. These traits are, variability in use that is
employing various elements, and flexibility in behavior, which gives
more freedom to your speech and behavior.

CS can be analyzed in terms of many components such as age,

minority, social class, ethnicity, identity and multilingual social
background. CS is formed in a specific way; it arises in groups who
share common identities, and emerges in various places among
multilingual speakers. A speaker’s choice is regulated by his or her aim,
it appears that different speakers use somehow different codes that are
stored in their linguistic repertoire which is all what they know and
perform. The speaker uses them heterogeneously in each case.
Therefore, the situational context affects the structure and the type of
the sentence.

For Peter, A, CS is metaphorically like an alloy of two or more

speech variety. At the situational level, prosody, lexis and grammar fuse

or merge into a single amalgam whose effect is to index the situation
type and the group’s identity. CS may be learnt very late by speakers, it
is acquired from being exposed to foreigners, or learning it in school,
namely from childhood to adulthood. It is also acquired directly and
differently without basic competence among minorities; therefore, CS
cannot be taken as a genetic heritage in the sense of being passed on
from one generation to another.

Many individuals are interested in defining the form of code

switching and code mixing. According to Hymes (1962:91), he defines
it as “a common term for alternative use of two or more different
languages or varieties of the same language’’. For Bokama (1989:91),
“both concepts are the form of mixing words, phrases, and sentences
from distinct grammatical systems within the same speech’’.

Speakers believe that it has more efficiency in communication.

Students from the primary school start to learn two co-existed different
languages and store them in their linguistic repertoire, step by step, they
begin to employ them, or demonstrate their linguistic performance in
one speech later on. They may mix them in one single speech. It is
observed that women are more likely to code mix; they use it more than
men, because they are more conscious status in their role, prestige, or
position in society. They use code mixing to make

more appropriate style of speech, and behave more properly in society;

therefore, they use more mixes in their conversation.

1. 2. Code Switching and Bilingualism:

CS is more linked to the fact of bilingualism which is the ability

of using more than one language or several languages. Here when I say
multilingual speakers, I mean certain levels of bilingualism, because
there is who can only identify a small amount of utterances in a
particular language; so, even the person who knows little things about
another foreign language is a reason to consider him as bilingual
speaker. Each one has a degree of bilingualism depending on his or her
language use in communication. Bilingualism and CS come in
reciprocal or mutual entailment; that is, if the latter is absent, the first
must also be absent and vice versa; they work interdependently.

Weinreich, U (1953:18) reveals that in bilingual societies children

are brought up with great exposure to different languages; thus, they
may acquire them in early stage. When they grow up, they make
distinction between the two languages, try to stratify their uses, and may
start to code-switch between them frequently during their
conversations. So; bilingualism and CS complement each other.

1. 3. Code switching in context:

FISHMAN, J (1967:87) shows that step by step speakers begin to

apply the functional distribution of the two languages, which one is

more adequate to this or that context. This one is restricted to this formal
setting; the other is limited to less formal one. Sometimes, they may
switch between them without identification; thus, He states that:

“In certain societies, inhabitants may use several languages; but, they
identify no functional distribution, which one is high variety and which
one is not’’.

Gumperz, J (1982:91) demonstrates that the terms CS and code

mixing are important features and well-studied speech processes in
multilingual communities. They have been used interchangeably
throughout history. There are two types of CS; the first one is the
situational switching, speakers use one code for this situation and
another code for other situation. The second one is the metaphorical
CS that is the topic is the driving and the essential element that
determines which language must be used.

According to Gumperz, speakers are not aware when they code

switch, they are programmed to do that unconsciously. The topic,
setting, age, prestige, acquaintance of the speakers, relation and the

purpose of the topic are fundamental components that manage the
process of the interaction. They cause different types of CS. Any way
we code switch depending on the different situations.

1. 4. An Aspect
1. 4. 1. Grammatical Constraints of CS:
The history of CS in linguistics is dated from Blom and Gumpers
(1972) “social meaning in linguistic structure”. Barker, G
(1947:04) observes that interaction among families is performed
through non standard language or dialect; it is coupled with a lot of
kinds of CS. It is not a random operation; but, it is a subject of two
constraints, the free morpheme constraint, it cannot occur between
bound morphemes, it is available at the syntactic level. The second one
is the equivalence constraint, it takes place when the switched
elements obey the syntactic rules of both languages, the grammatical
structures and the syntactic rules must be preserved when we come to
code switch.

Bokamba, E. g (1989:44) illustrates that Switching in the middle

of a sentence is possible when the two contrasted elements of the two
languages do not affect the syntactic rules of either, for instance, to say,
“the casa white” is ruled out by the equivalence constraint, because it
does not obey the syntactic rules of English, “the

Blanca house” it is limited to some grammatical rules, for coming up
with the desirable compatibility.

1. 5. Approaches to Code Switching

1. 5. 1. The Types of Code Switching:

Gumperz, J (1982) clarifies that CS is divided into three types,
the first one is intra-sentential switch, it occurs within the sentence,
elements of language A are used as elements of the sentence in language
B, for example, in Spanish-English switching “LA ONDA is to fight Y
JAMBAR” . The second type is the inter-sentential switch, takes
place between sentences; sentences from another language are inserted
in the same discourse, for instance “ANI WIDEILI. What happened”
The third type is emblematic switch, and it takes the form of tags, and
exclamations from one language to another, for instance, here in
Morocco, people utter a string of words such as, “the new constitution
is somehow modified, wla la”.

This switching affects the syntactic form of both languages; but,

they implicitly share something in common, which is preserving the
same meaning of utterances of both languages. Thus, the process of
combining them together creates some kind of variation in language

1. 5.2. Borrowing as a Part of Code Switching:

Myers-S, C (1993) expresses that this linguistic phenomenon of

CS leads to the fact of borrowing which is much more similar to CS.
These two processes of language are performed through the contact
between two or more cultures. One culture borrows from another one.
The difference between them is not clear, because they only differ in
small things. For instance, in borrowing there is that possibility of
making borrowed words as part of the target language, as it happens in
Morocco, some French borrowed lexical items have become basic parts
of Arabic language. In CS, it is very rare case to happen, for the speaker
is still conscious of the difference between the two languages. That is
he or she remains able of separating the two lexical items.

II. CS in Bilingual Children and its Factors

2. 1. Strategies of Code Mixing in Bilingual Children:

Here the term mixing states that we are dealing with language
mixing at an early stage of language acquisition, Contone, K.
(2007:85) reveals that most of the studies on language mixing try to
understand and explain CS in bilingual young speakers by referring into
two kinds of lacks, pragmatic competence in the sense that children
are not yet capable of separating the two languages. The second type is
the lack of the grammatical competence; the student may use a
specific structure which he or she has been exposed to in one language
in the other language.

For Contone, language mixing of young children is different from

mixing of adults, what is thought to distinguish between children’s
mixing and adult mixing is the lack of systimaticity or compliance to
linguistic rules. Since grammar develops in children, structural rules
will not be applicable at an early age of language acquisition; so,
language mixing of children follows no rules, it depends on rules that
are different from those of adults; therefore, we will structurally have
different types between them, this implies that children’s code mixing
is not supposed to be well-formed, because mixings at an early stage is
characterized by lack of the grammatical competence. But, it was
discovered that children can differentiate

between languages and separate them with accordance to specific

Some researchers call the mixing notion as a unitary system that

unifies two languages into single one, for instance, bilingual children
unify two words from different languages to have one single lexicon, as
child speech develops; mixing is supposed to become more developed.
Contone, K, f. (2007:229) exhibits that early mixing is characterized
by a high mixing rate of so-called function words, it depends on
functional words more than grammatical ones, language mixing in
bilingual children develops like grammar does, it changes from one
time to another.

According to Contone, the mixing becomes more structurally

complex when language also becomes more complex, that is at the
beginning of language acquisition, mixing has been limited to some
utterances; later on, mixing will include subject, verb and object …etc
Certain theories accounted for bilingual children’s mixing as a reason
for the imbalance of the two languages, the fact that the child mixes
more in one language than in the other might be due to socio-linguistic
and pragmatic aspects, for instance; one language is more accepted than
the other. So, CS is concerned with bilingual children that they can use
it in different levels depending on situations and their knowledge.

2. 2. Code Switching and Language Contact:

CS occurs in contact situations of many types, it occurs among
immigrant communities, regional minorities and other multi-lingual
groups. Sociolinguists have treated the concept of CS as a spoken
genre; but, it is also found in written historical books, for instance, the
lifestyle magazine Latina for American women of Hispanic origin is
full of Spanish-English CS.

Bentahila. A. and Davies, E, E. (1983:23) find in analyzing CS

of Arabic-French bilinguals that there are different patterns
characterizing the younger and older groups. CS plays a major role in
borrowing lexical items and mixing two languages. It can take place
over several generations or single one. They discover that there is a
great number of popular singers who make CS, such as those singers
of RAI. Some French verbs, borrowed in the early French colonial
period were adopted in Moroccan Arabic without inflectional verb
frames. Others that are borrowed more recently have been provided
with Moroccan Arabic inflectional frames. For being more precise,
nouns are more likely to be borrowed and switched.

CS is one of the possible outcomes of contact between two or

more varieties. Therefore, it is the alternation between two languages
that are used by bilingual speakers in the course of single conversation.

2. 3. Social Factors of Code Switching:

2. 3. 1. Macro Factors:

It is suggested that there are various explanations for why bilingual

speakers may choose to switch between two languages. Labov, W.
(1971:85) states that one of them is to communicate the exact semantic
message that the speaker wants to convey. For instance, switching
might occur because of the lack of formal knowledge of words. In some
communities, individuals switch when they want to transmit dirty
words. Speakers may also switch to exhibit their social status; they
switch to show some kind of modernity and their personal identity, they
look for impressing or persuading others.

They may also resort to the powerful language for demonstrating

their social position, trying to reveal two co-existed cultures or
identities. They may do so if they are not familiar with both languages,
or one language is more dominant and capable of expressing the
desirable meaning. Lexical items acquire new meaning through time;
therefore, some words in one language are not or unknown in the other,
this again stimulates speakers to code switch.

2. 3. 2. Micro Factors:

From a sociolinguistic point of view, there are certain types of
factors of CS. For instance prestige and covert prestige, this reflects the
social relation among members of society, social power that nurtures
CS in the community. The context can also affect using CS depending
on each situation it occurs. For instance, Moroccan people resort to use
CS when they deal with high prestigious situations. They employ it in
order to convey their personal attitudes, ideologies and perception. It is
performed by dint of modernization, westernization, and social

Labov expresses that certain speakers may consider CS as a

conversational resource in their conversations that provides them in
appropriate tools to structure their discourses. There is also the
possibility of imitation, which is more restricted to children and lower
age students; they may code-switch because they have only seen
someone performs it. People sometimes code-switch so as to exclude
other participants from the interaction and make ambiguity, and it is
very apparent when two persons talk to foreigners one is bilingual and
the other is not.

In the communication accommodation theory, Giles, H (1977)

suggests that when speakers look for approval in a social situation, they
are more likely to converge to minimize the social distance, but, they
may diverge to emphasize the social distance. They are supposed

to code-switch with people who share them the same identity.

Furthermore, mixing languages is more restricted to these fields of

technology, science, and medicine. The term of CS can also be
explained in the fact of altering the intonation of the conversation and
creating a convenient function to impress the hearer.

2. 4. Identity Construction and Code Switching

2. 4. 1. Code Switching in English Advertisement:
This study investigates how CS is used to construct or determine
identity. The findings reveal that during festivals; advertisers try to
construct identity through CS in the headline and body copy component
of their advertisements.

Ashabai, D and Frederick, J (2010) confirm that the growing

phenomenon of CS occurrence in advertisements has led to a rise in the
study of identity construction through CS in advertisements. Thus, the
use of CS in the print and advertisements is an essential principle that
reflects someone’s identity. There have been many debates around how
identity is constructed through language. But, it is observed that one of
the most fundamental ways of establishing our identity is through our
use of language.

For instance, in the Moroccan context. We find a lot of citizens

who use two languages in their writings. There are also a lot of French
newspapers that may sometimes contain the Moroccan Arabic
language. These expressions are an emphasis or focus on the

Moroccan identity, they may be seen as ordinary lexical items, but they
somehow convey some kind of identity.

2. 4. 2. The Purpose of CS in Advertisements:

CS is used as marketing strategy. Frederick, J (2010) illustrates

that the main aim of using it is to persuade multilingual consumers, in
order to accommodate so as to reduce the distance with bilingual
consumers, showing hospitality, attracting the consumers and building
the solidarity, motivation and credibility with them. CS is observed to
create a positive psychological effect in the consumer and gives them
confidence. It is also noticed that English language is used in Chinese
and French newspaper, why? Because English is linked with success,
modernity, global economy and progress.

So, since language is an indivisible element of the identity,

employing it in advertisements is a crucial attempt to perpetuate identity
existence. Therefore, CS is not only a fact which is restricted to
conversations; it is also a phenomenon that is used in the advertisements
so as to construct the national identity.

III. Code Switching

3. 1. CS and Dialect:
It is observed that CS is not only a matter of mixing two totally
different languages; it is also the fact of combining two varieties of the
same language. Labov, W. (1971) discovers that the use of a particular
dialect in the classroom impedes the students’ performance and
learning. This negatively reflects bad results on the base of writing.
Therefore, they may shift to use two varieties within the same speech.
Certain researchers applied the technique of what we call contrastive
analysis and they exhibit that varieties are somehow different languages
since they cannot provide any mutual intelligibility among speakers
who belong to different dialects.

Meyers, S (1993) clarifies that students learn how to switch from

home speech to school speech at appropriate times and places. To code
switch is to choose the right pattern of language appropriate to the
context (functional distribution). In US, Spanish-English CS is very
apparent, Spanish speakers resort to use some phrases of different
varieties such as tag…etc in their speech. Some sociolinguists confirm
that Spanish-English CS in US is intimately bound up with the history
of Spanish-speaking groups in US. They perform CS by dint of the
unequal cases of prestige, or socioeconomic mobility in relation to the
dominant language.

3. 2. CS in Foreign Language Classroom

3. 2. 1. Code Switching in Schools:
While learning English at the university, it is observed that there is
a common phenomenon that the majority use when they talk, this aspect
is called Code Switching. People may use or mix up two languages
when they take conversations; this aspect is well-observed in bilingual
individuals. Sert, O (2005) comes up with some categories of CS, the
first one is called equivalence, it takes place when the student feels
that he or she has not the competence or unable to explain one fact in
the target language; so, he or she will resort to use words of the native

The second term is floor-holding , this notion tries to fill gaps in

the conversation in order to avoid breaks while interacting, Sert states
that this type of switching has negative result on those students who
want to learn foreign language if they remain use it for long time. This
may lead them to lose their competence. The third category is
reiteration, people use this concept in order to illustrate the message,
Sert thinks that student may use native language so that they can exhibit
the message clearly and being understood by others.

Gumperz, J (1974:581) indicates that CS is much more complicated

in the educational setting rather than social one, because, pupils try to
use more vague lexical items. When we talk about CS we must look at
two faces, negative and positive ones, certain people

believe that CS has multiple advantages, it is considered as beneficial
subject in order to motivate students to learn more and provide
convenient atmosphere to language acquisition and others believe that
it is not.

According to Gumperz, he claims that “those people who code-

switch make mess out of the conversation and cannot use

language properly”. Thomas also reveals that “code switching is
unacceptable habit.”

3. 3. Code Switching and Functions

3. 3. 1. Test in Code Switching:

Some researchers made a test to examine the phenomenon of CS,

they bring some groups of students, each group consists of six pupils,
the researchers provide them with a story which is not long and short,
and started raising questions to those different students about the story.
The results clarify how students code-switch depending on the level of
questions, the pupils did indeed code-switch more on the advanced level
questions and switch-less on the basic level-questions, that is students
code-switch more when they answer advanced and more difficult level
questions and less when they answer basic level question. Baker, G

For Baker, the majority of the students made the dominant
category which is the equivalence one that indicates the lack of
competence to use or explain certain facts in the target language.

3. 4. Categories and Roles of Code Switching:

Sert, O (2005:06) suggests that there are other types of CS such

as student-student CS, this type was formulated because CS occurs
among students themselves, they switch in certain situations. Another
category is called student-researcher; students sometimes talk to their
researcher in their native language. The third category is comfort CS,
students’ CS with their neighbors in order to obtain help for explaining
something. The last category is sorry CS, in some situations; students
mistake to use the target language, and they apologize or correct

Other researchers confirm that CS is a positive aspect, for instance,

Sert demonstrates that it is useful phenomenon that may have a positive
effect on language learning, and he says that

“It is a tool for creating linguistic solidarity, especially between

individuals who share the same ethno-cultural identity”.

Moreover, others think that teachers must encourage students to employ
it rather than forbidding it, they must look at it as an advantageous
aspect, because using L1 may be beneficial for L2 acquisition.

CS from one language to another is an effective way to establish

classroom communication. It is considered as a way to avoid gaps in
communication. It is noticed that the lecturer has to switch when he or
she knows that students do not identify his or her speech.

Ashabai, D (2010) states that the main reason beyond switching is

concerned with the audience’s perception; speakers choose another
dialect instead of their own to use their interlocutor’s language.
Youkhana, S (2010: 54) argues that interlocutors switch for
convenience. People who feel that they cannot express themselves in
one language; they switch to avoid difficulties and lack of lexical items.

Schendl, H (1996:04) finds that CS is employed in many works of

literature. It is today considered as a kind of linguistic choice and
strategy that bilinguals use to achieve communication goals, although
some researchers have demonstrated that CS has an impact or influence
on bilingual learners’ competence; but, it has more positive aspects,
because it allows more clarity and prominence in the speech and
especially with well-cultured and educated individuals. It is also
considered as a successful and efficient method in the process of

According to Schendl, The most language that receives this

phenomenon of CS is English language. Here we can say that the
dominant language is more likely exposed to it. In certain bilingual
communities, it is an ordinary act that either students or teachers can
code switch. It is used by the teacher in order to build solidarity and
intimate relationship; it can be integrated into the activities used to teach
a second language.

Schendl confirms that teachers can begin a lesson in one language,

and then switch to another language in order to make students much
more careful and concentrated. Therefore; CS is a useful strategy in
classroom interaction if the aim is to make the meaning more evident
or to deliver the information to students more efficiently.

In this research paper, I have dealt with the notion of
Code Switching in bilingual communities. As such, I have
explained some aspects that are much related to it, such as the
grammatical restrictions and the different kinds of it. This
research is also concerned with the fact of numerous social
factors that push and motivate individuals to code switch, this
point has been illustrated by presenting a test that is made by
scholars to discover some truths concerning CS. It is noticed
that CS may perform many functions in different contexts
depending on the level of education of the speakers.

To sum up CS is a linguistic phenomenon that invades the

linguistic world.


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