Investigating the Social Functions of Code-Switching in Amarbail by Umera Ahmed

  •  Aisha Naseem    
  •  Qamar Khushi    
  •  Hafiz Muhammad Qasim    


The present study attempts to investigate the social functions performed by English code-switching in an Urdu novel, Amarbail, written by Umera Ahmad. The focus of the study is to examine how the societal norms and patterns of a contextual society are externalized in the selected novel through code-switching phenomenon. The study has a pragmatic stylistic focus and qualitative method has been utilized to describe the social functions of code-switching in the selected novel. The data have been selected by employing handpick non-random sampling and insights have been taken mainly from Myers-Scotton, and Albakray and Hancock for the analysis of data. The results reveal that the code-switching is a deliberate literary device exploited by the author to show the sociolinguistic norms of the target society. The main social functions performed by English code-switching in Amarbail are i) depiction of power relations, ii) construction of fluid identities, iii) acculturation and iv) maintaining class difference. The study concludes that code-switching in a literary text is a multipurpose phenomenon which not only symbolizes the societal norms of its contextual society but also displays the writer’s artistic and creative aptitude. It is hoped that the bilingual writers and researchers would find results of this analysis opportune and beneficial.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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