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Field template[edit]

On 16 August I added the template {{Linguistics}} to this page, reasoning that the topic relates to several sub-fields within linguistics (e.g. sociolinguistics, syntax, phonology, language acquisition). On 17 August Stevertigo replaced that template with {{sociolinguistics}}, presumably reasoning that it is more specific and therefore more appropriate. Stevertigo did not use an edit summary, but did comment at User talk:Cnilep/Archive/11 September 2010#Article integration. See also a related discussion at Talk:Code-mixing.

Do other editors have an opinion on which template is most appropriate for this page? Cnilep (talk) 15:00, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

I think {{sociolinguistics}} is appropriate. It's true that code switching/mixing are relevant to other fields of linguistics too, as you said on your talk page, but really only to the extent that those fields interact with socio. The phenomena are primarily related to socio and only secondarily to the other fields. +Angr 15:37, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Angr.·Maunus·ƛ· 15:39, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Ditto. — kwami (talk) 20:47, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Not to beat a dead horse (the 'Sociolinguistics' template has been in place for over a month now), but the recently published Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Code-Switching (ISBN 9780521875912) offers evidence counter to the assertion that code-switching is primarily a sociolinguistic topic. I've not read the volume yet, but I notice that it has five parts of which only one (Part 2, Social aspects of code-switching) is primarily sociolinguistic. Part 3, The structural implications of code-switching, and Part 5, Formal models of code-switching, each deal with aspects of grammar, especially syntax. Part 4 is Psycholinguistics and code-switching. Part 1, Conceptual and methodological considerations in code-switching research, appears to be a general introduction. Cnilep (talk) 22:30, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

In view of the evidence adduced above by Cnilep, I have re-added the Template:Linguistics field template and linked the edit comment to this section. Please {{Ping}} me to discuss. --Thnidu (talk) 01:23, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

code switching in india[edit]

I'm quite sure that code-switching is most common not in the countries mentioned, but in India. Here in India in all the cities code-sitch between the state language and English. eg. Hinglish in Delhi, Benglish in Kolkata etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:48, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Code switching is common throughout the world - certainly also in India, but unlikely that it is more so than elsewhere.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:08, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Salman Rushdie, somewhere in his writing, said that in what was then Bombay, where he grew up, they jokingly said they spoke "HUGME", a mixture of Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, and English, sometimes with words from all 5 languages in the same sentence. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:49, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Bilingual immigrants to Britain of Punjabi descent and their descendents code-switch between English and Punjabi all the time when speaking to each other. They will happily switch to straight English when conversing with someone with a different background. --Ef80 (talk) 20:33, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Code-switching in politics[edit]

I understand somewhat why this wouldn't fit in this article since the term, when applied in a political context, strays from the strict linguistic definition. That said, it is still the same basic use of the term, just applied in a specific context. Monica Heller, who is cited in this article, has written about it extensively. The whole last paragraph of the lead section talks about alternate uses of the term from the standard linguistic definition, so I'm not sure why the political use wouldn't fit there. - Maximusveritas (talk) 15:54, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

As to why "the whole last paragraph" fits the standard linguistic definition, see Talk:Code-switching/Archive July 2016#AAVE as "register shift". Publications in the fields of applied linguistics and sociolinguistics call the switch from African American English to Standard American English "code-switching". Use of the term in literary criticism is more tenuously connected to its use in linguistics, but scholarly publications are at least cited.
If Professor Heller or others make the case that politicians' shifts in stance are code-switching in this sense, then by all means cite those publications. I suspect, though, that a better fit is Stance (linguistics), which is currently a non-existent page cited from Appraisal (discourse analysis). See, for example, Lempert, Michael (2009). "On 'flip-flopping': branded stance taking in U.S. electoral politics". Journal of Sociolinguistics. 13 (2): 223–48.  Cnilep (talk) 23:37, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

The political sense of the term is the one that I (not a linguistics professional) encounter most often, and I came to this article hoping to read about it. Racist or anti-Semitic (etc.) statements may be so covered in habitual euphemism that the person speaking may be sincerely convinced that what he's saying isn't racist or anti-Semitic (etc.), since he isn't using any "forbidden" vocabulary, so that the code switching may even affect the speaker's own self-awareness. But strained circumlocutions (e.g. saying "member of the [whatever] community" when you clearly wish that you "could" say something else) can be potent indicators in themselves, and a person may speak differently on the same topic if he thinks that none of "them" are around. (I have sometimes been around when it was apparently not realized that I was one of "them" ...) DSatz (talk) 17:57, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

I've seen several journalists describing politicians who adapt different speaking styles, which Slate, for example, calls "Code-switching—or code-mixing, or style-shifting" Some writer deride this as inauthentic (though, as Slate points out, everybody does it). I have therefore cited a scholarly paper about perceptions accent and style shifting in politics – one that specifically calls it "code-switching" on page 341.
Monica Heller's work on "The politics of codeswitching" is about literal code-switching between French and English (and sometimes other languages), and how this is taken up in Canadian politics. I assume "the political sense of [code-switching]" means the former rather than the latter, right? Cnilep (talk) 04:04, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

CMS UA[edit]

I know that Carol Myers-Scotton uses a lot of initialisms such as CS for "code switching" and ML for "matrix language", and I know that some of the scholars follow her in this usage. It is, however, confusing for non-experts to encounter text dense with such abbreviations. Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Abbreviations urges consistency throughout an article. The style guide also suggests, "Always consider whether it is better to simply write a word or phrase out in full, thus avoiding potential confusion". I would recommend spelling out most, if not all of the labels from Myers-Scotton's work, even where she does not. (Oh, and just in case the heading of this section is unclear, it refers to "Carol Myers-Scotton's use of abbreviations".) Cnilep (talk) 00:45, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

@Cnilep: Well, I just appended "(MLF)" to the first mention of "Matrix-Language Frame". I'll see what else ... --Thnidu (talk) 06:30, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

Criticism section[edit]

I dream of horses just added the Template: Criticism section headnote to § Grammatical theories. ISTM that a more nuanced criticism is justified.

The only subsection I'd accuse of NPOV violation is Matrix language-frame model. That one is so long it seems to overshadow the others; it contains enough detail to warrant a separate article and should be significantly trimmed.

And then, the criticisms are scattered. Poplack's model -- or Sankoff and Poplack's model, depending on which paragraph you consult; where does Sankoff come in? -- is the only subsection to include criticisms of the theory, while Joshi's Closed-class Constraint and Belazi et al.'s Functional Head Constraint are relegated to Controversies. All these seriously cry out for conscious and conscientious rewriting.

Please {{Ping}} me to discuss. --Thnidu (talk) 02:17, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

@Thnidu: My main concern is that there are criticisms categorized under one section header, Generally speaking, they need to go throughout the article to make it more neutral. -- I dream of horses  If you reply here, please ping me by adding {{U|I dream of horses}} to your message  (talk to me) (My edits) @ 05:18, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
@I dream of horses: No disagreement there! But a rewrite should also cover my other issues: Sankoff, Joshi, and Belazi+'s treatment, and the bloatedness of Myers-Scotton's (Matrix Language-Frame model), which is not only bloated but very hard to read. I'm working on that now.) --Thnidu (talk) 07:27, 12 June 2016 (UTC)


The second set of examples in § Matrix language-frame model doesn't specify the language being switched with English. The text refers to it as "Nairobi", but there is no such language.[1][2] Swahili seems the likeliest, and applying Google Translate to a section of example #2 supports that.[3] I'm editing accordingly. --Thnidu (talk) 07:05, 12 June 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ "search results for Nairobi". Ethnologue. SIL International. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  2. ^ "Nairobi - Frequently Asked Questions from the CMF website". Tennessee Christian Teen Convention. Retrieved 12 June 2016. What language do they speak in Nairobi? ... In Nairobi there are many languages spoken because people from the different tribes live there, so to communicate with each other they usually speak Swahili or English. 
  3. ^ "Translate: Detect language → English". Google Translate. Google. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 

Non-verbal code-switching[edit]

I removed this sentence: "Like verbal code-switching, non-verbal code-switching can provide contextualisation cues."

The sentence cited Pahta and Nurmi (2009). That piece defines code-switching as "an umbrella term to refer to any identifiable changes from one language to another within a communicative episode". Their intent, as I understand it, is to include historical letters as "communicative episodes" that can feature code-switching. They do not suggest non-verbal code-switching as far as I can see. They do write, "we can speak of code-switching as a contextualisation cue, as one of the many linguistic or non-verbal procedures which can be used for signalling contextual presuppositions". But I take it that they mean contextualization cues – not code-switching – can be non-verbal. Cnilep (talk) 03:32, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Intro section organization[edit]

In the intro section, there are three full paragraphs about the linguistics usage of the term before we get to everyday usage of the term. Should this be reorganized, perhaps to put the everyday usage first then all the linguistics, or else linguistics paragraph 1, then everyday, then linguistics 2 and 3? --zandperl (talk) 16:40, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

The rest of the article is about linguistics. As a general rule, Lead sections should reflect article content. The disambiguation page, named in the hatnote, can help readers find the Code Switch blog or literature using multiple languages. Cnilep (talk) 00:06, 21 September 2016 (UTC)