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Title: Dispelling myths of first-generation immigrant code-switching : evidence from Thai marriage migrants in England
Author: Promprakai, Narawan
ISNI:       0000 0004 7961 0345
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2018
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Code-switching, i.e. the use of lexical items from Language A in stretches of Language B where there are equivalents in Language B, has long been at the centre of bilingualism studies. However, it has received little attention in the first-generation immigrant context, possibly due to its infrequency and insertional characteristic. Consequently, our knowledge of how first-generation immigrants adopt and adjust the host-country language in their intragroup talk is limited and possibly inaccurate. This thesis aims to systematically explore how and why first-generation Thai immigrants in England employ code-switching by: 1) investigating the frequencies, social distribution, sequential patterns and functions of code-switching, and 2) exploring Thai syntactic structures underlying the informants' code-switching. Approximately 13 hours of audio-recorded conversations obtained from 36 first-generation female Thai immigrants, all of whom are marriage migrants, were analysed using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The quantitative analysis reveals that the informants' code-switching occurs infrequently, and that the informants' proficiency in English speaking and reading skills are the only social variables that are correlated with the frequency of code-switching. Nonetheless, the qualitative analysis demonstrates that the informants' code-switching is systematic and purposeful. It can be represented systematically as sequential patterns, each of which are associated with a variety of functions. The qualitative analysis also shows that the informants' knowledge of Thai syntactic structures contributes to communicative effectiveness of code-switching in a way that code-switching alone may not adequately achieve. The overall finding of this investigation is that code-switching, despite its infrequency and insertional nature, is highly intricate and purposeful. This finding suggests that first-generation immigrant code-switching may have much more insights to offer than previously reported, and that code-switching, even single-word type, plays an important role in day-to-day interactions among first-generation immigrants. The finding also implies the need for more systematic and comprehensive studies of first-generation immigrant code-switching in relation to other language contact phenomena.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Bangkok University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available