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Code-Switching and Code-Mixing Errors among Swahili-English Bilinguals in Tanzania

Ponsiano Kanijo


This paper reports on erros made by bilingual speakers of Swahili-English in Tanzania. The paper argues that code switching or mixing is not always an indication of insufficient knowledge of grammar, hence, when speakers code-switch or mix always obey the grammar of each language. However, the fact that some Tanzanian speakers have low level of English proficiency is revealed in the analysis. This is because there are errors which appear to affect only those who lack principles and patterns of English language. Among the most pertinent errors affecting Swahili-English bilinguals the paper discusses (i) number concordial inflection (ii) double marking (iii) tense/aspect errors, and (iv) adjectival and adverbial inflection. It is generally argued that among other factors unrelated linguistic structures of L1 and L2 generate ill-formed blendings.

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eISSN: 0023-1886