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CODE MIXINGS AND CODE SWITCHING IN NIGERIAN MOVIES

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CODE MIXING AND CODE SWITCHING IN NIGERIAN MOVIES

CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.0       Background of the Study

Code mixing /code switching is a sociolinguistic phenomenon which occurs as an outcome of linguistic contacts especially among bilinguals and multilingual. Code switching is a communicative strategy utilized by bilingual speakers to achieve certain communicative intent.

Code switching refers to the movement by a speaker to and forth from one linguistic code to another. According to Hoffmann (1991: 110), the term “code switching” refers to the “the alternate use of two or more languages within the same utterance or during the same conversation”.

Code switching is an alternation between two or more languages in a speaker’s speech. It involves the fusing of two or more varieties of language in a single conversational utterance. The word code is a neutral sociolinguistic referral of a linguistic variety which may either be a language or varieties of a language/dialects, style or register. Various scholars have come up with different definitions of the term Code switching and code mixing. Ayeomoni, (2006) notes that code-switching as “a common term for alternative use of two or more language, varieties of a language or even speech styles”, while Maschler (2008:125) sees code mixing or a mixed code as “using two languages such that a third, new code emerges, in which elements from the two languages are incorporated into a structurally definable pattern” .

Code-mixing and code-switching are widespread phenomena in bilingual communities where speakers use their native tongue (L1) and their second language (L2) in different domains. However, it is not always the case where each distinct language is exclusively used in one particular domain. In order to help bilingual kids not to be confused with two languages and not to be alienated in monolingual society, it is very critical to make both bilinguals and monolinguals familiar with codes witching and code-mixing (Hua, 2008). It would be much better for other people to know about certain bilingual phenomena and try to accept the bilingual phenomena naturally, so that they could see how much social and cultural aspects affect bilinguals’ language and learn how bilinguals and their monolingual interlocutors should lead to smooth conversation (Kim, 2006).

However, Jenifa’s Diary is a Nigerian television comedy series, created by Funke Akindele. The series is part of the Jenifa franchise, based on a naive and funny character of the same name. Jenifa’s Dairy has over 11 (possibly going to 13) seasons and is currently active and ongoing (Ikeke, Nkem, 2017). This series tells a story of a native village girl who desperately wants to get out of her ratchet way of life. In her desperation she leaves her village and goes to the city of Lagos in order to process her visa to travel to the United States. Although unsuccessful with her visa application she decides to stay in Lagos and live a better life. She then finds herself in University of Lagos, with the help of a lady she met, Toyo baby (Olayode Juliana) and Kiki (Lota Chukwu) who help and accommodate her (Izuzu Chidumga, 2017).

This study deals with “Code switching and Code-mixing” in selected Jenifa’s diary episodes. This study tries to discuss more about “how Code switching and Code Mixing occurs in selected Jenifa’s diary episodes? This study will examine the differences between code switching and code mixing, the instances of code switching and code mixing in the text, then the underlying reasons for such code chances.

1.2       Statement of the problem

A few studies have been carried out on bilingual speakers of English. Some of the studies focus on the way speakers of English code switch and mix between different language codes in their daily dialogues or conversations. All these studies drew their data from real life contexts. None of them investigated the use of code switch and mix in dramatized utterances. Investigating code switch and code mixing in Jenifa’s Diary Episodes will assist us in identifying how these phenomena are used among Nigerians. This is the gap this study intends to fill.

1.3       Aims and objectives

This research work intends to investigate code switching and code mixing in selected Jenifa’s Diary Episodes. This study sets to achieve the following objectives:

1.        To examine the languages used in the production of movies in Nigeria with particular emphasis on Jenifa

2.        To assess the evidence of multilingual practice in Nollywood movies with specifics on Jenifa’s diary.

3.        To examine the level of indigenous languages utilization in the production of Nigerian movies

1.4       Scope of the Study

This study focuses in Investigating code switch and code mixing in Nigerian Movie focusing mainly on Jenifa’s Diary Episodes.

1.5       Significance of the study

The research will x-ray the possible social relevance of code switching and code mixing in TV soap opera in a multilingual Nigeria. The results of the study will assist in creating a better understanding of the code switching and mixing phenomenon amongst Nigerian bilinguals. Finally, it is hoped that this study will serves as a reference material for further research in this area.

1.6       Theoretical Framework

Code-mixing in any variety of language must take into consideration the ‗context‘ of its use for it to yield intended meaning. Myers-Scotton addressed three different models that emphasize the choices bilinguals‘ makes in conversation. These models include the Conversational analysis, the Communication accommodation theory and the Markedness model. This study will employ Myers-Scotton‘s Markedness model because it best emphasizes the reasons for code-switching. Myers-Scotton introduced this model into the discussion of language in 1993 with its initial focus on the social motivations for code-switching. She further explained the term ―Markedness‖ as the model that tries to establish a principled procedure that both speakers and listeners use to judge any linguistic choice that they might make or hear as more or less marked, given the interactions in which it occurs. Myers-Scotton posits that not all speakers in the same community engage in exactly the same CS practices and those speakers do not make identical choices in their own code-switching practices because they have different views on the costs and rewards of one choice over another. According to Myers-Scotton (1993:75), the Markedness Model proposes that speakers have a sense of markedness regarding available linguistic codes for any interaction, but choose their codes based on the persona and or relation with others they wish to have in place. Markedness relates to making of one linguistic choice over other possible and available varieties. The speakers have the option of choosing marked or unmarked choices and are aware of the consequences of making either choice for any type of interaction. Therefore, this model proposes that speakers have a sense of markedness regarding the linguistic codes available to them for any interaction. They then choose their codes based on the other participant(s) and/or their relationship with others which they wish to have in place.


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