Arabic-English code switching in the Egyptian talk show Shabab Beek

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This sociolinguistic study examines the various functions of Arabic-English code switching in the Egyptian talk show ‘Shabab Beek (literally: Young by You; communicatively: The Young Speak)’. In addition, this study

This sociolinguistic study examines the various functions of Arabic-English code switching in the Egyptian talk show ‘Shabab Beek (literally: Young by You; communicatively: The Young Speak)’. In addition, this study investigates the syntactic categories and types of switches to English. The data consist of approximately four hours and forty-five minutes of YouTube videos of the talk show in which code switching to English occurred. The videos are collected from six episodes of the show that were aired in October 2010. The show featured three categories of speakers, show hosts, guests, and callers. The findings show that most of the switches were produced by show hosts and guests while callers produced very few switches due perhaps to the limited number of phone calls received in the selected episodes. The speakers mostly used nouns when they switched to English. Nouns are followed by adjectives and noun phrases. The most prevalent type of switches in the data is tag switches followed by intrasentential and intersentential switches, which occurred rarely. Finally, analysis revealed eight functions of code switching in the data. These are difficulty retrieving an Arabic expression, quotation, euphemism, reiteration, message qualification, academic or technical terms, association with certain domains, and objectivization.