Codeswitching in Tigrinya: The Case of Two FM Radio Programs

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Addis Ababa University


This study deals with Codeswitching in Tigrinya: The Case of Two FM Radio Programs broadcasting in and around Mekelle. The rationales, which triggered the researcher to conduct such a research, are the fact that there are very few studies in Ethiopia, no research in Tigray and the researcher was experienced with switched Tigrinya in the Tigrinya FM radio programs (TFRPs). It is tried to address the why, when, how and how often codeswitching incidents are appeared on the TFRPs, and the perception of codemixing by bilinguals and monolinguals. It also attempts to describe what linguistic features of codeswitching are identified and which universal constraints are attested valid in Tigrinya-English or Amharic codeswitching phenomenon. The study aims mainly at exploring the social aspects of codeswitching activities, and describing the linguistic features of codeswitching on the Tigrinya FM radio services (TFRSs) vis-à-vis some earlier studied models and findings. To address the problems and achieve the objectives, both qualitative and quantitative methods were employed for gathering bits of information from the selected sites and FM radio listeners in focus. Questionnaires, interviews, and audio recordings were used as basic tools to collect genuine information. The bits of information were collected from both monolingual and bilingual TFRPs clients and the newscasters. The social and linguistic data of codeswitching on the TFRPs are exhibited viewed from different perspectives. There are bulks of codeswitching occurrences on TFRPs more frequently from English and Amharic constituents.Tigrean codeswitchers were engaging in codeswitching incidences motivated by the social attractions. However, monolinguals have remarkably negative attitudes towards codeswitching by overwhelming the bilinguals. Besides, the Trilingual Tigreans are switching multiple constituents intrasententially via Amharic and English. In the Amharic or English switched Tigrinya, the equivalence constraint and free morpheme constraint operational, whereas the size of the constituent constraint is not appropriate.



Codeswitching in Tigrinya, The Case of Two FM Radio