AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics

The optimal grammar of code-switching between Kannada and English

by Chaitra Shivaprasad

Institution: University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign
Year: 2015
Keywords: Code-switching; bilingual grammar; Kannada-English bilinguals; Optimality
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2077911
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/78494


Through this study I argue that code-switching between Kannada and English follows the five socio-cognitive constraints- FAITH, POWER, SOLIDARITY, FACE and PERSPECTIVE provided in Bhatt and Bolonyai (2011). Informal semi-structured interviews were conducted among Kannada speaking young adults in urban and semi-urban Karnataka. The results show that they code-switch between Kannada and English at intra-sentential and inter-sentential levels to reflect their traditional-modern and local-global identity. Although the extent of code-switching is quite high, making the code-switched variety the unmarked variety in conversations among the members of this group, the placement and the content of the switches show that the five principles still control the grammar of these bilinguals. The interaction of these principles gives rise to a ranking amongst them which accounts for the uniqueness of the grammar of code-switching between Kannada and English of this speech community.