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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The function and significance of code-switching in South African poetry
Author:Barnes, Lawrie
Periodical:The English Academy Review (ISSN 1753-5360)
Geographic term:South Africa
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10131752.2012.730180
Abstract:This article is an extension of earlier work by the author which explored the function of codeswitching in the canon of English poetry (2011. 'The function and significance of bilingual codeswitching in English poetry with a special focus on the work of Eliot and Pound'. The English Academy Review 28 (1): 23-38). Given the dearth of research in this field, especially within the South African literary context, the current article examines the use of codeswitching in South African poetry, drawing on the theoretical framework and the findings of the previous study. It begins by examining the use and function of non-English titles in the work of Sipho Sepamla, Jeremy Cronin and Mafika Gwala, where the matrix language of the poems is English. This is followed by a comparison of the use of codeswitching in Mogoleng wa Selepe's poem 'My name Nomgqibelo Ncamisile Mnqhibisa' with Sepamla's poem 'My name is'. After a short consideration of codeswitching in songs, the study moves on to a brief consideration of the use of quotations from non-English literary works in South African English poetry. The study reveals numerous functions of codeswitching as a rhetorical device: it can be used for dramatic, lyrical or humorous effect, to bring out irony, to express solidarity, to make social or political commentary, to add local colour and to change perspectives. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]