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Linguistics and Speakers Practice Code-switching

yInitiation of Code Switching Code switching, that is, the alternative use by bilinguals of two or more languages in the same conversation, has attracted linguists’ attention and been studied from a variety of perspectives. Code-switching is a linguistics term denoting the concurrent use of more than one language, or language variety, in conversation. Multilinguals, people who speak more than one language, sometimes use elements of multiple languages in conversing with each other.

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Thus, code-switching is the syntactically and phonologically appropriate use of more than one linguistic variety.Speakers form and establish a pidgin language when two or more speakers who do not speak a common language form an intermediate third language. On the other hand, speakers practice code-switching when they are each fluent in both languages. Code mixing is a thematically related term, but the usage of the terms code-switching and code-mixing varies. Some scholars use either term to denote the same practice, while others apply code-mixing to denote the formal linguistic properties of said language-contact phenomena, and code-switching to denote the actual, spoken usages by multilingual persons.In the 1940s and the 1950s many scholars called code-switching a sub-standard language usage. Since the 1980s, however, most scholars have recognized it is a normal, natural product of bilingual and multilingual language use. In popular usage outside the field of linguistics the term code-switching is sometimes used to refer to relatively stable informal mixtures of two languages, such as Bangla or Hindi, or to refer to dialect or style-shifting, such as that practiced by speakers of African American Vernacular English as they move from less formal to more formal settings.Why is code-switching Code-switching relates to, and sometimes indexes social-group membership in bilingual and multilingual communities. Some sociolinguists describe the relationships between code-switching behaviors and class, ethnicity, and other social positions In addition, scholars in interactional linguistics and conversation analysis have studied code-switching as a means of structuring talk in interaction. Analyst Peter Auer suggests that code-switching does not simply reflect social situations, but that it is a means to create social situations.Weinreich (1953/1968:73) argued that “the ideal bilingual switches from one language to another according to appropriate changes in the speech situation, but not in an unchanged speech situation and certainly not within a single sentence”. Speaker switches languages to achieve a special communicative effect. This paper will give a general review of the studies of code-switching and then focus on the grammatical constraints on CODE-SWITCHING.Studies of CODE-SWITCHING can be divided into three broad fields: sociolinguistic code-switching, psycholinguistic code-switching and linguistic code-switching. Sociolinguistic approach to code-switching Blom & Gumperz (1972/2000:126) introduced two patterns of CODE-SWITCHING, namely situational CODE-SWITCHING, in which the speaker switches languages according to the change of the situation and metaphorical CODE-SWITCHING in which the speaker switches languages to achieve a special communicative effect.They developed this concept and introduced another term ‘conversational CODE-SWITCHING’ (1982) which includes functions such as quotations, addressee specification, interjections, reiteration, message qualification, and personalization vs objectivization. Psycholinguistic approach to code-switching Weinreich (1953/1968) classified three types of bilingualism according to the way in which bilinguals store language in their brains. 1) Coordinate bilingualism: the person who has acquired two languages in two separate contexts and the words are stored separately. ) Compound: the person has acquired two languages in the same context. In this case, a word has a single concept but two different labels from each language. 3) Subordinate: the person has acquired a language first and another language is interpreted through the stronger language. Ervin & Osgood (1954) developed Weinreich’s distinctions. Structural approach to code-switching In the past twenty years, studies looking for universal grammatical constraints on CODE-SWITCHING have attracted linguists’ attention and still haven’t reached an agreement. Research in this field has largely concentrated on finding universally applicable, predictive grammatical constraints on CODE-SWITCHING, so far without success”(Gardner-Chloros & Edwards, 2004:104). There are mainly three approaches to the structural description of CODE-SWITCHING. The first is one of the earliest and most influential approaches, that of of Poplack and her associates. The second is the approach to CODE-SWITCHING that is based around Chomsky’s generative grammar. The third is Myer Scotton’s psycholinguistically inspired structural model – the Matrix Language Frame Model.Markedness Model The Markedness Model, developed by Carol Myers-Scotton, is one of the most complete theories of code-switching motivations. It posits that language users are rational, and choose (speak) a language that clearly marks their rights and obligations, relative to other speakers, in the conversation and its setting. When there is no clear, unmarked language choice, speakers practice code-switching to explore possible language choices. Many sociolinguists, however, object to the Markedness Model’s postulation that language-choice is entirely rational.Communication Accommodation Theory The Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT), developed by Howard Giles, professor of communication, at the University of California, Santa Barbara, seeks to explain the cognitive reasons for code-switching and other changes in speech, as a person seeks either to emphasize or to minimize the social differences between him- or herself and the other person(s) in conversation. Prof. Giles posits that when speakers seek approval in a social situation they are likely to converge their speech with that of the other person speaking.This can include, but is not limited to, the language of choice, accent, dialect, and para-linguistic features used in the conversation. In contrast to convergence, speakers might also engage in divergent speech, with which an individual person emphasizes the social distance between him- or herself and other speakers by using speech with linguistic features characteristic of his or her own group. Code-switching and Diglossia In a diglossic situation, some topics and situations are better suited to one language over another.Joshua Fishman proposes a domain-specific code-switching model (later refined by Blom and Gumperz) wherein bilingual speakers choose which code to speak depending on where they are and what they are discussing. For example, a child who is a bilingual of Bengali-English speaker might speak Bengali at home and English in class, but Bengali at recess. Mechanics of code-switching Code-switching mostly occurs where the syntaxes of the languages align in a sentence; thus, it is uncommon to switch from English to Bengali after a verb and before a noun, because, in Bangla, verb usually follow nouns.Even unrelated languages often align syntactically at a relative clause boundary or at the boundary of other sentence sub-structures. Linguists have made significant effort toward defining the difference between borrowing (loanword usage) and code-switching; generally, borrowing occurs in the lexicon, while code-switching occurs at either the syntax level or the utterance-construction level. In studying the syntactic and morphological patterns of language alternation, linguists have postulated specific grammatical rules and specific syntactic boundaries for where code-switching might occur.None of these suggestions is universally accepted, however, and linguists have offered apparent counter-examples to each proposed constraint. Some proposed constraints are: * The Free-morpheme Constraint: code-switching cannot occur between bound morphemes. * The Equivalence Constraint: code-switching can occur only in positions where “the order of any two sentence elements, one before and one after the switch is not excluded in either language. ” * The Closed-class Constraint: closed class items (pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, etc. ), cannot be switched. The Matrix Language Frame model distinguishes the roles of the participant languages. * The Functional Head Constraint: code-switching cannot occur between a functional head (a complementizer, a determiner, an inflection, etc. ) and its complement (sentence, noun-phrase, and verb-phrase). Note that some theories, such as the Closed-class Constraint, the Matrix Language Frame model, and the Functional Head Constraint, which make general predictions based upon specific presumptions about the nature of syntax, are controversial among linguists positing alternative theories.In contrast, descriptions based on empirical analyses of corpora, such as the Equivalence Constraint, are relatively independent of syntactic theory, but the code-switching patterns they describe vary considerably among speech communities, even among those sharing the same language pairs. Types of switching Scholars use different names for various types of code-switching. * Intersentential switching occurs outside the sentence or the clause level (i. e. at sentence or clause boundaries). Intra-sentential switching occurs within a sentence or a clause. * Tag-switching is the switching of either a tag phrase or a word, or both, from language-B to language-A, (common intra-sentential switches). * Intra-word switching occurs within a word, itself, such as at a morpheme boundary. Examples of code switching: Now a day there are lots of uses of code switching in our daily Bangla language. English use has got too much high so that we sometime call it as Banglish. More often our words are getting compound by the other language.For example of Code switching I can give a dialogue of between two friends: Shoiket: Mou PLEASE amak ai biota dao na Mou: Take it shoiket. Shoiket : toke oneek thanks dilam Mou: Wells. Conclusion A useful definition of code switching for sociocultural linguistic analysis should recognize it as an alternation in the form of communication that signals a context in which the linguistic contribution can be understood. The ‘context’ so signaled may be very local (such as the end of a turn at talk), very general (such as positioning vis-a-vis some macro-sociological category), or anywhere in between.Furthermore, it is important to recognize that this signaling is accomplished by the action of participants in a particular interaction. That is to say, it is not necessary or desirable to spell out the meaning of particular code switching behavior a priori. Rather, code switching is accomplished by parties in interaction, and the meaning of their behavior emerges from the interaction. This is not to say that the use of particular linguistic forms has no meaning, and that speakers “make it up as they go. Individuals remember and can call on past experiences of discourse. These memories form part of a language user’s understanding of discourse functions. Therefore, within a particular setting certain forms may come to recur frequently. Nonetheless, it is less interesting (for the current author at least, and probably for the ends of sociocultural linguistic analysis) to track the frequency or regularity of particular recurrences than to understand the effect of linguistic form on discourse practice and emergent social meanings.To recapitulate, then, code switching is a practice of parties in discourse to signal changes in context by using alternate grammatical systems or sub systems, or codes. The mental representation of these codes cannot be directly observed, either by analysts or by parties in interaction. Rather, the analyst must observe discourse itself, and recover the salience of a linguistic form as code from its effect on discourse interaction.