code-switching and code-mixing. The history of the research of code change has
undergone various periods that have shown how complex the phenomenon of codeswitching
and code-mixing are.
In the course of research of code change it has become clear that code-switching
and code-mixing can be investigated from different perspectives. Researchers
focused on code change after they had realized that linguistic forms and practices
are interrelated. And code-switching/-mixing, in their turn, embodies not only variation,
but the link between linguistic form and language use as social practice. Research
from a linguistic and psycholinguistic perspective has focused on understanding the
nature of the systematic of code change, as a way of revealing linguistic and
potentially cognitive processes. Research on the psychological and social
dimensions of code-switching/-mixing has largely been devoted to answering the
questions of why speakers code change and what the social meaning of code
change is for them. The sociological perspective later goes on to attempt to use the
answer to those questions to illuminate how language operates as a social process.
Throughout the history of research on code-switching/-mixing it has been proposed
that it is necessary to link all these forms of analysis and that, indeed, it is that
possibility that is one of the most compelling reasons for studying code-switching/-
mixing, since such a link would permit the development and verification of
hypotheses regarding the relationship among linguistic, cognitive and social
processes in a more general way (Heller, Pfaff 1996). As with any aspect of language contact phenomena, research on code- switching
and code- mixing are firstly plagued by the issue of terminological confusion. In communications, a code is a rule for converting a piece of information (for
example, a letter, word, or phrase) into another form or representation, not
necessarily of the same sort. In communications and information processing,
encoding is the process by which a source (object) performs this conversion of
information into data, which is then sent to a receiver (observer), such as a data
processing system (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code)
. . .
In semiotics, the concept of a code is of fundamental importance. Saussure
emphasized that signs only acquire meaning and value when they are interpreted in
relation to each other.
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