English Language Project Topics

Sociolinguistics Code-switching and Code-mixing in the Movie Figurine (Araromire)

Sociolinguistics Code-switching and Code-mixing in the Movie Figurine (Araromire)


This study  examines the impact of code-switching and code-mixing and how they are projected in the Nigerian Language as observed in the selected Nollywood movie Figurine (Araromire) as directed and produced by Kunle Afolayan

Code-switching and code-mixing are widespread phenomena in bilingual and multilingual communities where speakers use their native language (L1) and their second language (l2) in different domains of a language structure. The term code-switching emphasizes movement from one language to another and the term code-mixing emphasizes hybridation. The aim of this project is to present why bilingual switch and mix two or more language and switch back and forth while they speak. The case study of this project is a selected Nollywood movie stated above. Nollywood movies focuses on Nigeria’s experiences, believes, norms, traditions, sensibilities, cultures etc.

Chapter One Summary

Code-switching and code-mixing are well known character in the speech star or pattern of the average Bi-lingual in any human society.

This study will look into the effectiveness of code-switching and code-mixing in Nigeria. This work will bring into enlightenment if use of code-switching and code-mixing in Nollywood movies is as a result of proficiency in language usage or deficiency and the thorough investigation will seek to what extent does the performance of these Socio-linguistic elements positive or negatively affect language competency in Nigeria.

The research method will be mainly focusing on Nollywood movie FIGURINE (ARAROMIRE) as the case study. The movie will be analyzed alongside the reasons, effect and motivation for code-switching and code-mixing.

Due to the researcher’s level of proficiency, knowledge and understanding of theEnglish, Yoruba, Pidgin and little of Hausa languages. The research work will cover the selected movie FIGURINE (ARAROMIRE) in the Nigerian movies industry. This research work will be limited to code-switching and code-mixing.

Ayeomi (2001) cited that language expert across the globe have investigated in their experiments the causes, functions, characteristics and effects of code-switching and code-mixing. Such investigation on the causes of the phenomena, for instance, has revealed Socio-linguistics and Psyco-linguistics factors. One is by lingualism or language contact that results in lexical borrowing and mixture of English and vernacular expression in the speech of African Bi-lingual (ANSRE 1971; Bangbose 1971; Chang and Butler 1789).

The work of this study will present why Bi-lingual and Multi-lingual code-switch and code-mix into two or more languages and switch back and forth when they speak. The study will be useful for Sociolinguistics and Psycholinguistics students.

Chapter Two Summary

The ‘neutral’ term code can be used, Wardhaugh (1998: 86) explains, to refer to any kind of system that two or more people employ for communication. He, therefore, refers codes to language, dialect, style, register, or variety. People always deal with choosing an appropriate code when they speak. According to Holmes, it involves different dialects of a language, or quite different languages (1992: 6). However, choosing code is not done at random, at anytime, anywhere or anyhow a speaker likes. Holmes (ibid: 2) says that one chooses words carefully according to who they are talking to. Moreover, she says it includes how well we know the person and whether they are socially superior. Nonetheless, people are not quite conscious in choosing one code or more in a situation and another. It is also a matter of solidarity dimensions as Myers-Scotton (1983b and, Scotton, 1983) stated, “Speakers choose, not always consciously by any means, how they say what they want to say. They are generally aware of the power dimensions in the situations they find themselves in and they also know who they want to be identified with, the solidarity dimension. They have some idea too of how they want to appear to others and how they want others to behave toward them…” (Wardhaugh, 1998: 109 -110)

One thing to be considered is the code choice which undoubtedly includes linguistic variation as well. Holmes (1992: 6) describes that vocabulary or word choice is one area of linguistic variation. More precisely she says, linguistic variation occurs at other levels of linguistic analysis too: sounds, word-structure (or morphology), and grammar (or syntax) as well as vocabulary. Within each of these linguistic levels there is always variation which offers the speaker a choice of ways of expression. Holmes, further, relates it to the social contexts in which the variation provides speakers with different linguistic styles for use in different social contexts (ibid). Linguistically speaking, in choosing code one must also consider its appropriateness in his utterance and purpose towards the interaction.

Choosing codes may be based on some factors. Holmes (1992:44) says one of them as, “the technical topics are firmly associated with a particular code and the topic itself can trigger a switch to the appropriate code. “She assumes that people may select a particular code because it makes them easier to discuss a particular topic, regardless of where they are speaking (ibid:29). However, Wardhaugh says that one’s language choices are part of the social identity he claims for himself (1998: 95). Certain codes, therefore, are deemed more appropriate for certain messages than other codes. It means, code and message are inseparable. Consequently, when a choice between codes exists, one must exercise that choice with great care since it can affect what happens to the message one wishes to communicate (Wardhaugh,ii: 112).

Chapter Three Summary


This chapter aims to analyze the possible reasons, motivations and impact of code-switching and code-mixing in a selected Nollywood movie FIGURINE (ARAROMIRE).

Data Analysis

In FIGURINE (ARAROMIRE), code-switching and or code-mixing in almost the scenes, of the code-switching as earlier said is a term in Linguistics referring to alternative between two or more Languages, dialect or Language registers in a single conversation, stretch of discourse or utterance between people who have more than one Languages in common.

Code-switching is a very common feature in Nollywood movies. This involves the characters in the choice of appropriate Linguistics code for different context in their interactions. The author of this movie employs this as a stylistic device to cater adequately for varying local situations in the movie for instance, in FIGURINE (ARAROMIRE) Kunle Afolayan the director of the movie engages his characters in code-switching and code-mixing depending on the situations in which the characters find themselves .Choices of appropriate code enables the character assume corresponding roles, which best serve their communicative needs in different speech encounters. Sometimes characters communicating in English switch to indigenous Language or Pidgin English. In informal occasions, Pidgin or local Languages are employed while English is the medium of communication in formal situation.

Summary and Conclusion

This research work set out details on what code itself and how it show in different styles, social context, dimension, registers, case, in different ways of communication and also mainly what code-switching and code-mixing are refer to as that is code-switching in Linguistics occurs when a speaker alternates between two or more languages or Language varieties, in the context of a single conversation. Of which the type the type known as inter-sentential switching, intra-sentential switching, tag-sentential switching and intra-word switching. Most switching studies primarily focus on intra-sentential switching, as it creates many hybrid grammar structures that requires explanation. More so, definition of code-mixing as the mixing of two or more languages or language varieties in speech. The types are also given as intra-sentential code-mixing, insertion of lexical material mixing, alternation between structures from Languages mixing and congruent lexicalization of material from different inventories into a shared grammatical structure mixing.


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