Code Switching Case Study

The case of mixing languages can be seen in a lot of bilingual speakers. Take myself for example, I was born in Taiwan and I started learning English in a very young age. I found myself mixing my languages since I was really little. For me personally, I think the reason I mix my languages is because I think the language I choose to use can best serve me needs. Sometimes I cannot find a word or even a saying in Mandarin that has the accurate meaning of what I am trying to say in English and vice versa. I did some survey among my friends in Taiwan who also code-switch (a lot of them are American missionaries living in Taiwan for a long time or just people who have learned English since they were really young) and the following are the reasons I believe why people code-switch.

(1) Specificity. Sometimes it’s hard to find a
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Sometimes a person can only think of a word in the language other than the one being spoken at the time. “When we are using Chinese, we sometimes have to drop an English word into a sentence because we don 't know the Chinese word yet.” -American missionary in Taiwan

The linguistics features of code-switching are: (1) Phonology. Words undergo changes when code-switching. Sometimes the stress of a word affects the changes as well. (Gibbons, 1987, P. 44-56) (2) Syntax. The English words people code-switch is usually one or two words. In this case, it’s easy to code-switch without changing a lot of the grammar or structure.

In conclusion, people code-switch for all the above reasons. Code-switching is commonly seen in Hong Kong or among any bilingual communities. It’s not only because of social reasons but other reasons like efficiency, equivalence and habits are something that affects people’s choice of languages. The linguistics features also happen to help enhance this phenomenon because with the similar form of phonology and syntax, it gives people a better advantage to

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