Motivations For Code-Switching Among Igboenglish Bilinguals: A Linguistic And Sociopsychological Survey

  • GO Obiamalu
  • DU Mbagwu


Code-switching and code-mixing are known to be universal phenomena among bilinguals. Not until recently, codeswitch ng/ mixing was seen as evidence of “internal mental confusion, the inability to separate two languages sufficiently to warrant the description of true bilingualism” (Lipski 1982:191). Studies have shown that code-switching is not a manifestation of mental confusion but a rule-governed behaviour among bilinguals which is motivated by various socio-psychological as well as linguistic factors. It has been observed that code-switching is more predominant among Igbo-English bilinguals compared to any other linguistic group in Nigeria. This paper seeks to explain why the Igbo people code-switch a lot by looking at the history of the Igbo language contact with English, the socio-psychological factors as well as the Linguistic factors that contributed to the predominance of code-switching among Igbo-English bilinguals.

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eISSN: 1597-474X