Experimental techniques in code switching research

  • Ondene van Dulm


This article discusses various experimental techniques which may be used to elicit data on code switching. A brief overview of the literature is followed by a description of the techniques used in a small-scale study of the structural aspects of intrasentential code switching between South African English (SAE) and Afrikaans. The aim of the small-scale study was to gather preliminary data which could be used to evaluate the empirical merit of a number of predictions for the structure of SAE-Afrikaans intrasentential code switching. In addition to the techniques used in the small-scale study, a number of adaptations and additions to be applied in the larger-scale study to follow are discussed. These improvements to the techniques are proposed on the basis of the results of the small-scale study, and take the relevant literature into account. The various techniques are discussed in terms of their ability to provide valid and reliable data which can be subjected to statistical analysis and which can fruitfully inform questions regarding the structure of intrasentential code switching. The benefits of research of this nature to language practitioners and to the field of linguistics are highlighted.  

Author Biography

Ondene van Dulm
Ondene van Dulm is a lecturer in the Department of General Linguistics at Stellenbosch University. Her doctoral research focuses on structural aspects of English-Afrikaans intrasentential code switching. E-mail: ovd@sun.ac.za.