Use of code-switching in inter-generational and intra-generational communication in Greek (Cypriot dialect) and English.

© Marilena Onisiforou

This study examines the motivations to code-switch in inter-generational and intra-generational communication between Greek-Cypriots in a North London community. This study also explores whether the experiences of migration and previously cited generational language patterns might influence the language choices of these individuals. Three conversations were recorded where bilinguals discussed their experiences of migration and living as British Cypriots. A qualitative approach was employed for the analysis of this data and the conversations were analysed in their entirety, and it was found that the personal histories of migration and generational patterns were not deterministic of each individual’s language choices and future studies should consider in greater detail the notion of ‘super-diversity’. Language maintenance and ‘transnationalism’ factors such as Greek supplementary schools and frequent contact with Cyprus were found to potentially account for the continued use of the Greek language across generations. A conversational and sequential analysis was undertaken for analysing and interpreting the motivations as well as the meanings created by code-switching. This analysis finds three main motivations to code-switch and these were for accommodating purposes, topics of discussion and potentially filling a lexical gap.

For more information please see Marilena's Undergraduate dissertation.