Hello everyone, I'm Shama from Tunisia. I'm very interested in code switching. In fact, i'm working on my MA thesis and it's about code switching and borrowing on social networking sites (specifically on facebook).

I'm still trying to improve the methodology part though and I was wondering whether you guys can give me any feedback. My study will focus on analyzing switching code between 3 lges (french, tunisian arabic and english). But the problem is that not everyone in tunisia speaks english so if i analyzed the participants statuses or msg, their lge choice will depend on whether the person their talking to speaks english or not. and that would jeopardize the sudy's results.

so i thought about creating a page on facebook where i can add all of my participants who all speak the 3 lges in question and each time propose a topic that they will discuss and then i analyze their comments. my question is do you think that such a forum can appropriately represent language use on facebook ?????

i would really appreciate any ideas/feedback/criticism. thank you Emotion: smile
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What is code switching?

What is a lge?

The problem is, you are so close to your subject that you presume that everyone knows what you are talking about.

Not everyone is familiar with the jargon/texto/twitter hyper-abbreviated English, French and Arabic used today.

Explain your request clearly and you'll probably get a response.



PS: I think I have a fairly good idea of what code switching is, and I finally figured out that lges means languages.
Hello again

I am so sorry - your post popped up on my technical and scientific forum subscription and I incorrectly assumed that you were speaking of software code - not Linguistic code. I have made an error and I apologize.

I speak 3 languages a fairly equal amount of time, but more often French and English than French, English and Spanish. I think your Facebook page has great merit and I'd love to discuss it with you, particularly the methodogloy problems you say that you are facing. I can see your problem.

Again, my apologies for MY mixup.

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Anonymouscreating a page on facebook where i can add all of my participants who all speak the 3 lges in question and each time propose a topic that they will discuss and then i analyze their comments. my question is do you think that such a forum can appropriately represent language use on facebook ??
This method is a little skewed by the fact that the participants will know almost exactly what you're looking for. I wonder if there's any way you can do this without letting them know that you're only using people with those exact three languages.

How practical or impractical would it be just to record conversations with people you find in randomly chosen parts of a given city? Say something vague about a study you're doing. Ask them all similar questions, and don't ask them what languages they speak until you get to the end of the conversation. Or maybe you could just choose your friends for your study on the basis of what you already know about the languages they speak, but not tell them that's the purpose of your study.

I have no idea if that would work, but I think the analysis of the running speech of people who are not self-conscious about the purpose of your study in code switching would be much more accurate than what you are proposing on Facebook. In the end, it's your choice, of course. What does your thesis adviser say?


By the way, out of curiosity, which other variety of Arabic is most like Tunisian Arabic? Algerian? Libyan? Egyptian?

Do you yourself do a lot of code switching? How common is it there?
Hi Shama, I'm Samira from Italy and I'm very interested in talking with you about your methodology: in fact, I'm working on a thesis very similar to yours! and I'm facing the same doubts about how to collect the right and most useful linguistic material. I'm really glad having found this message of yours, 'cause code-switching between tunisian and other lngs on the web is a poorly studied matter, even if (at least for me Emotion: smile ) very very interesting.

I thought my idea of analyzing commutation of code in the same way you are proposing was so original..!

So, we will be working on the same material at the same time... why not working together and giving each other potentially good help and advice?!

Just yesterday I created on facebook a page with the same purpose as yours. I think that creating a corpus to work on is the hardest part... maybe if we could sum up your findings with mine, we could be reciprocally helpful Emotion: smile

If you read and answer this message, I'll be willing to exchange our email adresses in order to better discuss the subject.

Hey John, first of all I'm sorry for not making my research statement clearer. I just supposed everyone knows what codeswitching is ! (my bad).

Concerning the methodology, I came up with the facebook page idea coz i had no other way since not everyone in Tunisia speaks English so I couldn't choose participants randomly. But, as I said before, I know my methodology is flawed and I'm still trying to come up with better ideas.

PS: Thanks for your replies.
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Hey CJ, thanks for your reply. And though I didn't mention it on my first post but yeah the participants will not know what the research will be about. Even the questionnaire that the particiapnts will take at the 1st stage of the study will contain different questions about their background, one of which will be about the languages they speak.

PS: To answer your question, Libyan Arabic is the closest variety of Arabic to Tunisian Arabic. Egyptian Ar and Tunisian Ar are so different. Egyptians, sometimes, find it difficult to understand Tunisian Ar.
Hey Samira, I would love to work with you.

Here is my email address: <<removed>>

And this is my Facebook account: <<removed>>

Hope I'll hear from you soon.

MODERATOR'S NOTE: Please register and put your contact information in your profile. Contact information is removed from forum posts.
Hi Shama, I'm glad you finally answered Emotion: smile

I'm working on my project right now and it's evolving in unexpected ways; I'd be very interested in knowing how you're dealing with yours.

As for your contacts: since you're not registerd on this site, the moderator took them off so I can't see them.

But I'm registered and I suppose you can see my email address, so you can write me there.

I already looked for you on fb and sent you a reaquest some time ago, but you still didn't answer; and it's impossible to me to send you a message there 'til you accept the friendship request!

Regarding the methodology, I agree that people involved should not know about the reasearch: in fact, I'm collecting data from fb public pages and groups and public discussions on forums. I intefere with the speakers (writers) in no way. I just register their spontaneous language use.

Doing that, I find myself with lots of messages in which there's no codeswithing, but that's equally useful to me since I'd like to combine a qualitative and quantitative approach and apart from analyzing the structure of mixed-languages messages, I intend to estimate which is, statistically speaking, the impact of codeswitching in tunisian language use on the web by comparing it with the percentage of monolingual messages.

I think there are some differences in our projects; that' s why it would be very interesting and helpful to compare them and most of all their results.

Hope to hear from you soon Emotion: smile

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