Code-Switching in Spanish/English Bilingual Speech: The Case of Two Recent Immigrants of Mexican Descent

Turnbull, Antonieta

This study presents the analysis of a home-based interaction between two Spanish/English bilingual sisters. The purpose of the study is to investigate the functions codeswitching plays in this conversation and the role of these functions in the construction of their identity as elite bilinguals. In addition, this study aims to contribute to the body of research that has been conducted to identify the different functions of code-switching in bilingual interaction, particularly with regards to the creation of an ethnic or linguistic identity. Research on code-switching has been extensive. However, the majority of the studies have been conducted on stable bilingual communities whose members are early bilinguals or sequential bilinguals who have resided in the community for an extended period of time (Blom & Gumperz, 1972; Myers-Scotton, 1993b; Poplack 1980, 1981), or else they have been conducted in educational settings where one or the two languages are used as main medium of instruction (Cromdal & Aronsson, 2000; Rampton, 1999; Zentella, 1981). Furthermore, studies of codeswitching in Spanish/English bilinguals of Mexican origin have analyzed primarily the interaction of second generation Mexican-Americans or that of first generation immigrants who become circumstantial bilinguals once in the United States (García, 1981; Valdés, 1988; Valdés-Fallis, 1977). Little attention has been paid to another type of population: that of the recent, educated immigrant who is already an elite bilingual. The current study thus attempts to fill this gap in the literature by analyzing the functions of code-switching in the interaction of two recent Spanish/English bilingual immigrants of Mexican descent.


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Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics

More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Published Here
October 30, 2015