XIV, 235 pp.
2 colour maps, 6 diagrams/figures, numerous tables and charts, appendices: transcripts of recordings, questionnaire
Text language: English
The bulk of research on codeswitching confines its scope to two languages. In this study, however, three languages, Tigrinya, English and Amharic, are considered. While Tigrinya and Amharic – two Semitic languages spoken in Ethiopia – are genetically and typologically related, Tigrinya and English are distant languages both typologically and genetically. These contrasting and similar features of the languages being treated in the present study are believed to provide a point of departure for the study of codeswitching that may contribute to the further advancement of the study of bilingualism/multilingualism in general.
The study considers both grammatical/structural and sociolinguistic aspects in the analysis of the data collected. It primarily investigates the linguistic or structural aspect of insertional codeswitching involving Tigrinya, Amharic and English, i.e. it explores the grammatical structure of the new bilingual constituents when linguistic items switch or more specifically are inserted into the Tigrinya utterance from English and/or Amharic. Furthermore, the book deals with social aspects of codeswitching and explores the possible pragmatic and discursive functions of codeswitching by Tigrinya speakers from Tigrinya into English and/or Amharic.