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Functions of code-switching in bilingual theater: An analysis of three Chicano plays
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.
2010 (English)In: Journal of Pragmatics, ISSN 0378-2166, Vol. 42, no 5, 1296-1310 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present study examines functions of code-switching in Chicano theater, i.e. in writing intended for performance. The investigation focuses on local functions of code-switching. These are functions that can be seen in the text and, as a consequence, can be regarded as meaningful for the audience of the plays. In the study these functions are examined, focusing on five loci in which code-switching is frequent, namely quotations, interjections, reiterations, 'gaps' and word/language play. The data of the study consists of three published plays by a Chicana playwright. The study concludes that code-switching fills creative, artistic and stylistic functions in the plays and that it can be used to add emphasis to a certain word or passage, to add another level of meaning, to deepen/intensify a meaning, to clarify, to evoke richer images and to instruct the audience about a particular concept. Code-switching is also used to mark closeness, familiarity, to emphasize bonds, and to include or, on the contrary, to mark distance, break bonds and exclude. Complex identities of the characters as well as the plots of the plays are constructed and developed by means of language. Code-switching is thus used to enhance and support the representation of the characters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 42, no 5, 1296-1310 p.
Keyword [en]
Chicano, Code-switching, Functions, Theater, Writing, Plays
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics General Language Studies and Linguistics Specific Languages Specific Languages
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-49003DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2009.08.012ISI: 000276861000009OAI: diva2:376189
authorCount :1authorCount :Available from: 2010-12-10 Created: 2010-12-10 Last updated: 2010-12-14Bibliographically approved

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Jonsson, Carla
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