Re: RE: [code-switching] Is CS deliberate?
- The answer to this question seems to be very much context-dependent, as
ever in code-switching research. It was posed by Tim Greer in the
context of international schools, with reference to both classrooms and
the playground. Such a context involves young people who are presumably
still acquiring or learning their second, third or xth language, and a
potential or actual clash between gatekeepers policy on language use
and actual practice.
Evidence from East Asia suggests that the switching of codes in
written printed material is deliberate and intentional (Yau M.S.,
1993: 25). David Lis (1996) monograph on bilingualism and
biculturalism in Hong Kong, especially the (ch. 3) taxonomy of
linguistic motivations for Cantonese-English switching, sheds further
light on the written CS issue (discussed previously in this list
check the archive).
Im trying to address this issue in my own research involving
Malay/English CS in on-line discussion forum postings, where bilingual
participants post messages sometimes in Malay only, sometimes in
English only, but often in codemixed Malay-English. Choices here are
deliberate, since they have time to plan and make choices before
submitting the message, unlike in real-time face-to face conversational
Clearly this is very different context from that of an international
school. Shows how hard it is in this field to make any claims of
universal validity just look at the linguistic constraints
tradition of research!
Refs.: (yes to overciting vs. underciting!)
Li, D.C.S.(1996)Issues in Bilingualism and Biculturalism: a Hong Kong
Case Study. New York, Peter Lang.
Yau, M.S. (1993) Functions of two codes in Hong Kong Chinese. World
Englishes 12(1), pp. 25-33.
Curtin University of Technology,