nl en

Topics in Linguistics D: Code-Switching


Admission requirements

Depending on specific topic


Bilinguals often use more than one language in the same conversation. This course will study this phenomenon, known as code-switching. We will study when and where code-switching occurs. We will draw on naturalistic corpus data as well as experimental data and will show how sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic and grammatical aspects of code-switching are interdependent in our understanding of the phenomenon. Thus, this course will prove of broad appeal for students with specializations in syntax, phonetics/phonology, language acquisition, psycholinguistics, and sociolinguistics.
The material discussed will be organized around four themes:
(i) What is code-switching? Conceptual and methodological considerations in code-switching research
(ii) Grammatical aspects of code-switching: structural implications and formal models.
(iii) Experimental approaches: the psycholinguistics of code-switching
(iv) Social aspects of code-switching

Course objectives

At the end of the course, the students should be able to:

  • Describe and identify different types of code-switching patterns and how they relate to community and individual characteristics.

  • Critically evaluate the debate regarding the relative value of corpus-based versus so-called competency-based data collection paradigms in the study of code-switching.

  • Relate psycholinguistic research to more linguistically informed approaches to the complex array of issues arising in code-switching.

  • To plan and design a code-switching study.


Please check the Timetable

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • Article discussion and presentation (10%)

  • Oral presentation of research paper (15%)

  • Research paper (75%)


Yes. Blackboard

Reading list

Preparatory Reading

Gardner-Chloros, P. (2009). Code-switching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Readings for Specific Lectures

The course will draw on seminal works in the study of code-switching as well as more recent research published in journals and other compendia. Course materials will be distributed in class or posted on Blackboard.


Prospective students, please check the Study Abroad/Exchange website for information on how to apply.

After application, students are to register for courses and exams through uSis

Contact information

By E-mail: Coordinator of Studies