Show how code switching can be used for strategic purposes. In what way is code switching similar to or different from style shifting as a strategic tool.

Essay by valtanUniversity, Bachelor's April 2007

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Codeswitching and style shifting are the two common means of communications today. The definition of code switching by Swann (2002) is "The switch between languages or language varieties, during the course of a single interaction". For example, codeswitching from the English to Swahili a seen in "Wache Mimi nielekee tauni tukutane this evening". (Let me go so that I may reach town, let's meet this evening) While the definition of style shifting is "The use of different aspects of dialect and accent: to the way in which the pronunciation choice of words and grammatical features associated to different varieties of English used variably by speakers in different context". For example the first person singular pronoun in English "I feel happy" can be substituted to Patois variant "me feel happy". In the following, I will be using Monica's Heller's article to show how codeswitching can be used for strategic tool. Then I will show other findings that are similar to Monica Heller's article.

Finally I will compare and contrast between codeswitching and style shifting as a strategic tool. (Swann, 2002)Let us begin with Heller's (1988) study of how codeswitching can be used as a strategic tool to achieve the following that I have classified into four main groups. They are to achieve rights and obligations associated with different identities; managing personal relations; diverge or converge, to show solidarity and for work related purpose.

For the rights and obligations associated with different identities, Heller (1988) found that Anglophone managers in a bid to maintain job stability as a manager by being what she terms as a "marginal". This is seen from Anglophone communicating in French to maintain their job and promotion opportunities but switches to English to maintain a good working relations with the Anglophone. Thus Anglophone can gain the advantage of...