CODE-SWITCHING AND CODE-MIXING IN CHIMAMANDA ADICHIE’S PURPLE HIBISCUS, NKEM NWANKWO’S DANDA AND CYPRIAN EKWENSI’S JAGUA NANA

CODE-SWITCHING AND CODE-MIXING IN CHIMAMANDA ADICHIE’S PURPLE HIBISCUS, NKEM NWANKWO’S DANDA AND CYPRIAN EKWENSI’S JAGUA NANA

ABSTRACT

The culture of a people is best expressed and preserved in their literature through language. In the attempts by Nigerian prose writers to adequately cater for the varying local situations in their works, they employ various stylistic and creative devices as well as strategies, among which are code-switching and code-mixing. This study investigated why some Nigerian writers code-switch and code-mix in their works and found out if there is any impact the mixing has added to the growth of our language. The researcher picked out the code-mixed and code-switched expressions used in the three novels and stated the reasons and implications of the use of the codes. Three novels by three different writers were used. The novels and other critical works on them formed the major sources of data for the work. The theoretical framework used for the work is Myers-Scotton Markedness Model Theory (2001). The theory states that speakers make language choices because of their goals. It is a qualitative type of research and used descriptive research design. The research findings show that speaker’s choices are based on rationality rather than on sequential structure. Participants code-switch based on their goals and what linguistic codes are available to them to achieve their goals. The summary of the findings is that the researcher encouraged other Nigerian writers to imitate Adichie, Nwankwo and Ekwensi in the use of code-switching and code-mixing in order to accommodate a larger number of readers, sustain the cultures and traditions of their land and export their language to other countries. The researcher also encouraged the writers to put glossaries or footnotes at the end of their works in order to help non-native speakers of the language to understand the novel. The research concludes that the use of code-switching in Nigerian novels strengthen indigenous cultures and languages. It submits that such practice portrays the writers African experience, creates new English that has close relationship with its ancestral home but transformed to boost its new African environments.