ALTRALANG Journal
Volume 1, Numéro 1, Pages 108-124

Why Do Algerians Code Switch On Facebook? Attitudes And Motives

Authors : Zitouni Mimouna . Saaid Younes .

Abstract

As Facebook has expeditiously developed into one of the best-liked modes of communication on the Internet, language has also been inveigled in terms of its use, usage and practices. Code-switching (CS), the alternate use of more than one language in a discourse, is one of the language phenomena which have demonstrated actual infiltration, connotation and implication on language production and exchange among Algerian Facebook users. This research investigates attitudes that lie behind the manifestation of such language switching. The present work aims to raise its problematic in the multilingual Arabic-French-English Facebook discourse of young Algerian University students of English living in Oran. Our corpus consists of 75 participants. Data was gathered from a questionnaire which was administered to explore attitudes towards Arabic, French and English language use in concordance with code switching phenominality in online written discourse. Collected data was quantified, analysed and discussed. Results showed that a great majority of the respondents code-switch in Facebook. Furthermore, it is found that students are highly positive in their attitudes toward the use of code-switching in Facebook communication. It is suggested that many of the Algerian Facebook users employ CS as a tool not only to enhance socializing but also academic activities.

Keywords

Sociolinguistics, Bilingualism, Multilingualism, Language Change, Online Language, Facebook, Attitudes.