Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 9 : 4 April 2009
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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Code Switching and Code Mixing Among Oriya Trilingual Children -
A Study

Smita Sinha, Ph.D.


Code switching, according to Hudson (1999), is the inevitable consequence of bilingualism. Anyone who speaks more than one language chooses between them according to the situation. Normally, a person chooses a language which is comprehensible to the hearer.

In situational code switching, languages coincide with changes from one external situation to another. In case of metaphorical code switching, choice of languages determines the situation. Similarly, in case of code mixing, a fluent bilingual speaker, while speaking to another fluent bilingual speaker, changes language without any change at all in the situation. The changes generally take place more or less randomly as far as the subject matter is concerned.

In modern times, Oriya children of urban Orissa in India learn to speak Oriya, Hindi and English right from their childhood. As a result, frequent code switching and code mixing are noticed in children's speech, which form their natural way of speaking. As the speakers are unaware of how much and what kind of code switching they produce, the analyst too finds it difficult to assign clear communicative functions to every individual code switch.

According to Ghloros (1990), there is a relation between patterns of code switching and their motivation. This has been demonstrated in a number of studies. Many authors ascertained that, at the lexical level, children switch codes more frequently than do adults from the same social group. It appears that children are less capable of concealing lexical gaps in their speech than adults. Code switch of adults are more complex and depends on their discourse skills which is undeveloped in children.

Background of the present study

Oriya is the official languages of Orissa, a state in eastern India. Along with Oriya, English is used as language of education and administration. English is the medium of instruction in various private English medium schools right from pre-nursery classes. Oriya and Hindi are taught as 2nd and 3rd languages subsequently. English also serves as the common language of communication in a multilingual situation. Due to the impact of various entertainment programs and movies in television advertisements and in newspapers, Oriya children learn Hindi right from early childhood. Many urban elite Oriyas speak to their children in English along with Oriya. Some parents also mix codes while talking to their children. Hence, the present day urban Oriya children are growing up learning all the three languages simultaneously.

Aim of the study

The aim of the present study is to show how urban Oriya children acquire two or three languages from a very early age. The study also aims at presenting the process of early language socialization of Oriya children growing up in trilingual environment. The question that I will seek to answer here is: What is the pattern of code switching in the language interaction of children?

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Mean Length of Utterance and Syntax in Konkani | A Study of English Loan Words in Selected Bahasa Melayu Newspaper Articles | Verb Reduplication in Tamil and Telugu | The Relevance and Usefulness of European Literature for Innovations in Indian Literature - A Review | Girish Karnad as a Modern Indian Dramatist - A Study | Code Switching and Code Mixing Among Oriya Trilingual Children - A Study | T. S. Eliot - A Universal Poet With Appeal to Indian Spirituality | Academics' Perceptions of Reading and Listening Needs for English for Specific Purposes - A Case from National University of Malaysia | Perspectives on Teaching English Literature to English Literature Major Students | Myths and Legends in the Plays of Girish Karnad | Acoustic Correlates of Stress in Konkani Language | Compassion - Leo Tolstoy's Philosophy as Seen in His War and Peace | Role of Space in the Narratives of Bharathi Vasanthan, A People's Writer from Puducherry | Teaching English in Multiracial and Multilingual Nations - A Review of Maya Khemlani David's Book, A Guide for the English Language Teacher | HOME PAGE of April 2009 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Smita Sinha, Ph.D.
Department of Linguistics
Berhampur University
Berhampur 760007
Orissa, India
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