A Discourse Analysis of the Use of Code Switching in the Film Yellow Card

Clemenciana Mukenge, Advice Chimbarange


This study analyzes the use of code switching as a communication strategy in the film Yellow Card. The film Yellow Card deals with HIV and AIDS concerns and inevitable discusses issues pertaining to sex and sexuality, which are unspeakable in the public domain. This research reveals that code-switching is employed for the purposes of linguistic avoidance, whenever there is need to avoid a direct reference to the words and phrases considered taboo. It also occurs for intra-group identity where it functions as a communication technique for aligning or alienating interlocutors depending on the situations. Code switching is also employed to express concepts that can only be identified through a specific language and to create humour in different speech situations. Also revealed is the fact that code-switching is intra-language, occurring within the same language (formal and informal English), and inter-language, occurring between two languages (Shona and English). Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough, 1995) was used as both a theoretical guide and a methodological thrust. CDA views language as socially constituted and socially constituting. Data was gathered using in-depth textual analysis of the language content of the film Yellow Card and was presented in a descriptive manner. Data interpretation was carried out according to context of use. This study concludes that code-switching is a complex phenomenon that expresses a great deal more about the intentions and needs of the speaker or the writer. It is a crucial communication tool which is significant in sociolinguistics.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v4i4.2929

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International Journal of Linguistics  ISSN 1948-5425  Email: ijl@macrothink.org

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