Bilingual Interactions: An Investigation into Code-switching and Its Purposes among Armenian-Dutch Bilinguals
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Linguistic code-switching is prevalent in multilingual societies for various reasons. This thesis investigates the code-switching behavior and purposes of the second-generation Armenian- Dutch society, as well as the connections between their identity and code-switching functions. Furthermore, this thesis compares to Nortier’s (2015) research on the code-switching behavior and aims of Turkish-Dutch and Moroccan-Dutch bilinguals. A qualitative method was adopted by observing everyday conversations, conducting follow-up questions and interviews. Armenian-Dutch individuals employ code-switching to express their identity, feelings, and humor. They also utilize code-switching to cite others, make communication easier, and because of lexical need, semantic relevance, a lack of a language counterpart, or a cultural link to the topic. They likewise code-switch due to the trigger effect, out of habit, to add dramatic effect, or when criticizing others or sharing secrets. New functions that had not been discovered in the literature were to increase tension, to improve one’s linguistic abilities, due to a linguistic preference for specific terms, and simply inadvertently. Language preservation being an essential component of Armenian-Dutch identities reflects the code-switching function of strengthening one’s language skills, whereas the community’s strong grasp of Armenian culture and their pride in their race and culture is shown in the code-switching functions of conveying humor and expressing identity. The degree of the Armenian-Dutch society’s code-switching would fall between that of the Turkish-Dutch and Moroccan-Dutch societies (Nortier, 2015). Given that both groups regularly code-switch for diverse reasons, an important one of which is to demonstrate their bilingual identities, the Armenian-Dutch community’s code-switching functions are strikingly similar to those of the Turkish-Dutch community.