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Code Switching

  1. Margaret Deuchar

Published Online: 5 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0142

The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics

How to Cite

Deuchar, M. 2012. Code Switching. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 NOV 2012


Code switching (CS) is an activity which may be observed in the speech (or writing) of bilinguals who go back and forth between their two languages in the same conversation. Please note that Spanish words are underlined, English words are shown in normal style, and Welsh words are shown in bold. Key to glosses: PL = plural, SG = singular, M = masculine, PRON = pronoun, DET = determiner, PRT = particle, NEG = negative/negative particle, DEM = demonstrative, DAT = dative, ACC = accusative, INF = nonfinite, PRES = present, IMP = imperfect tense, FUT = future tense, 1SG/1PL = 1st person singular/ plural, 2SG/PL = 2nd person singular/plural, and 3SG/3PL = 3rd person singular/plural. Examples (1)–(6) illustrate code switching from recorded conversations between Spanish-English, Welsh-English, and Welsh-Spanish bilinguals. The data were collected as part of the research program of the ESRC Centre for Research on Bilingualism ( and with funding from the AHRC for a grant awarded to the author for a project on “Code switching and convergence in Welsh: A universal versus a typological approach” (for the Welsh-English data see


  • bilingualism;
  • code-switching;
  • conversational analysis;
  • grammar;
  • multilingualism