An Overview of Theories and Approaches to Code-Switching

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Farida Panhwar
Ghulam Ali Buriro


The study of code-switching refers to the shift in a spoken language both across as well as within sentence boundaries. There are numerous linguistic, sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic theories and approaches to elucidate the socio-cultural, cognitive and structural aspects to understanding the code-switching phenomenon. However, these theories and approaches are overlapping and create perplexity for researchers to distinguish them independently. The contribution of this paper is to explain and analyze various theories as well as re-locate them into the various schools of thought and put them under their respective umbrellas according to their approaches.

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