The markedness model approach to the motivation and functions of code-switching and code-mixing: a case study of selected Kipsigis songs
The aim of the present study was to identify the motivation and functions of Codeswitching and code-mixing in selected Kipsigis songs. Myers-Scotton (1993:1) defines Code-switching as the alternations of linguistic varieties within the same conversation. This definition is adopted by this study. The study was qualitative in nature and it entailed a detailed description of code-switching based on data that contained instances of code-switching. The data was classified, analyzed and discussed within the Theoretical Framework of Myers-Scotton (1993) Markedness Model for Code-switching. The study set out to find out whether the Markedness Model would be applied to determine the socio-psychological motivation and functions of code-switching and code-mixing in the data collected from selected Kipsigis songs.The data revealed three types of codeswitching namely; intra-word, inter-sentential and intra-sentential code-switching. The data was analyzed basing on the predictions given in the Markedness Model which classifies CS into four types namely ‘Marked,’Unmarked,’Sequential, and Exploratory. Our study only revealed the instances of ‘marked’ code-choice maxim of the Markedness Model. The ‘marked’ choice maxim is a negotiation against the ‘unmarked’ (expected) choice and directs a speaker to call up for another Rights and Obligation (RO) set in the place of the expected choice. The predictions suggested by Myers-Scotton in the Markednes Model were also found to apply to our data for example code-switching for aesthetic effects, direct quotations, structural flagging and use of code-switching to express ethnic identity and group solidarity.The findings of the study revealed that the artists in the selected Kipsigis songs resorted to code-switching to serve the following functions; to fill a lexical gap, to bring out humour, for societal factors such as euphemism and for economy and rhythm. Finally, we gave a general summary of the study’s findings, conclusion and recommendations for further research.