Code-switching in letter writing

P.S. Sobahle


The study sets out to investigate code switching in letter writing among a small
group ofXhosa speaking people.
Code switching is found in informal speech and informal writing. It was
established from the data that the closer people are, the more code switching
there is.
Code switching seems to follow a pattern in that it was observed to occur:
(a) only with certain people
(b) when talking about certain topics
(c) when wanting to exclude another person
(d) when emphasising a point.
Code switching also appears to have a 'grammar' of its own. It is not in any
way a pidgin.
It is clear from the data that code switching does not reflect denial of one's
identity. English, being the medium of education for Blacks in South Africa,
is therefore bound to be reflected not only in their speech but also in their
Die studie het ten doe/ om registeroorskakeling in die skryf van briewe deur
'n klein groepie Xhosasprekendes te ondersoek.
Registeroorskakeling word gevind in informele spraak en informele
skryfwerk. Daar is uit die data vasgestel dat hoe intiemer mense is hoe meer
vind registeroorskakeling plaas. Volgens waarneming blyk dit dat registeroorskakeling
'n patroon volg, want dit het voorgekom:
(a) net by sekere mense
(b) wanneer oor sekere onderwerpe gepraat is
(c) wanneer 'n ander per soon uitgeskakel is
(d) wanneer 'n mening beklemtoon is.
Registeroorskakeling blyk 'n eie grammatika te he. Dit is geensins "pidgin"
Dit blyk uit data dat die skrywer se identiteit nie verlore raak tydens
registeroorskakeling nie. Omdat Engels die medium van onderrig vir Swartes in Suid-Afrika is, sal dit noodwendig nie net in hulle spraak nie,
maar ook in hul skryfwerk gereflekteer word.

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