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Panhwar, Farida Yasmin Ali Nawaz.pdf (1.77 MB)

Multilingualism in Sindh, Pakistan: the functions of code-switching used by educated, multilingual Sindhi women and the factors driving its use.

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posted on 2023-06-09, 14:14 authored by Farida Yasmin Ali Nawaz Panhwar
The present study explores the functions of code-switching and the factors which motivate speakers to use it in the context of informal conversations among educated, multilingual Sindhi women at four colleges in Hyderabad and Kotri, Pakistan. Following on from such scholars as Blom and Gumperz (1972), Gumperz (1982), Myers-Scotton (1993a), Poplack (1980), this study uses a qualitative methodology consisting of audio recordings of informal interactions, the questionnaires filled in by the participants, which reveal their demographic information and observation notes by the researcher during the audio recordings. The data is then analysed using an interpretive approach. The findings provide evidence that code-switching is employed as a language strategy to achieve particular social goals. Multilingual code-switching into Sindhi, Urdu and English and a few instances of Arabic and other local languages provide sufficient evidence of participants’ linguistic competence. The majority of participants use Sindhi as their L1 and English as their preferred language for code-switching. However, some participants who are Sindhi by ethnicity but acquired Urdu (their academic language) as their L1 predominantly use Urdu. The findings suggest that the participants use code switching to achieve particular social goals, such as to construct multiple identities, to express anger and humour, to discuss taboo issues and for specific textual functions such as recycling, self-repair, quotation, and idiomatic expressions. In the current study, the motivational extra-linguistic factors for the use of code-switching are historical-socio-economic factors, participants’ social networks, conversational topics, and the social status of their interlocutor(s). The intra-linguistic factors consist of speakers’ expression of their emotions and their linguistic competence. The most significant factor involved in the presence and absence of the use of codeswitching is the socioeconomic status of the participants. The results show the use of a huge number of English loanwords to fill lexical gaps which exist in Sindhi and Urdu. However, some instances of core borrowing (widespread borrowing in presence of equivalent in native language) from English are also used.


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