A functional analysis of Spanish/English code-switching in Spanish language talk shows
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This thesis examines the discourse functions of Spanish/English code-switching present in Spanish language talk shows. Code-switching is a linguistic phenomenon that involves the mixing of two or more languages in discourse by bilinguals. The alternation of languages is a communicative tool used by bilingual speakers to employ discourse/pragmatic strategies much in the same way as a variety of linguistic registers or styles are used by the monolingual speaker. This study provides a critical overview of the most influential studies of the structural and sociolinguistic dimensions of code-switching, and focuses on the major empirical works that have examined the discourse functions of code-switching in interaction. It then analyzes the discourse/pragmatic functions carried out by code-switching in the data obtained from the transcriptions of two talk shows in Spanish. The data reveal that code-switching carries out a wide range of discourse functions in conversation beyond that of supplying a forgotten word or filling a lexical gap. Finally, directions for future research are discussed, including examining pragmatic functions carried out by code-switching in other mediums where multilingual conversation takes place.