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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Code-Switching: Amharic-English
Author:Leyew, ZelealemISNI
Year:1998
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies
Volume:11
Issue:2
Period:December
Pages:197-216
Language:English
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:multilingualism
Ethiopian-Semitic languages
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13696819808717834
Abstract:Amharic is the official national language of Ethiopia and serves as the language of wider communication among speakers of other languages. English has an international status in the country, serves as a medium of instruction in secondary and tertiary education, and is given as a school subject from the third grade of elementary school on. Codeswitching is a widespread phenomenon in multilingual Ethiopia. Among educated people, codeswitching frequently occurs from Amharic to English. This article, which is based on data collected from Addis Ababa University community members, high school students, radio and television interviews, and newspapers, discusses Amharic-English codeswitching, where Amharic is the matrix language and English the embedded language. It gives an overview of Amharic-English bilinguals' speech and some characteristics of the matrix language, and examines constraints underlying Amharic-English codeswitching, the attitude of monolinguals toward codeswitching, the reasons why Amharic-speakers switch to English, and whether Amharic-English codeswitching is systematic or not. Bibliogr., notes, sum.
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