Code Switching As a Countenance of Language Interference: The Case of the Efik Bilingual
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Borrowing, Code-switching, Interference, Inter-sentential, Intra-sentential morpho-syntax and sociolinguistics.

How to Cite

Offiong, O. A. ., & Okon, B. A. (2013). Code Switching As a Countenance of Language Interference: The Case of the Efik Bilingual. International Journal of Asian Social Science, 3(4), 899–912. Retrieved from


Bilinguals often switch between their two languages in the middle of a conversation. Spolsky (1998) says, code-switches can take place between or even within sentences, involving phrases or words or even part of words. The switching of words is the beginning of borrowing, which occurs when the new word becomes more or less integrated into the second language. In this paper, we examine the experience and countenance of the Efik bilingual in terms of language interference. This interference is as a result language contact – for this paper - Efik and English languages. We are looking at it from two axes: the sociolinguistic ambience and the morphosyntactic perspective. We are using both the Think Tank and the Lexical Functional Grammar-LFG theories respectively, to analyze the data. The theories have aided the discovery that the study of Interference, which has to do with the transference of elements of one language to another at various linguistic levels, is what leads to the high incidences of code switching by bilinguals. Amongst other findings discussed in this paper, we have found out that when code switching is to compensate for language difficulty, it may be viewed as interference and when it is used as a sociolinguistic tool, it is not.

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