Code-switching is the active use of two or more languages by a single speaker within one conversation or clause. This chapter examines the social, discourse, and morphosyntactic characteristics of code-switching among Australian languages, as well as between these languages and English-based lects, and compares these findings to predictions made in the general contact literature. Code-switches comprising clauses or multi-word strings are discussed first, with a focus on their relevance to social and discourse structures. Single-word switches are then analysed. Those in syntactically-peripheral and syntactically-required positions are compared, as the latter are described in the literature as more constrained than the former. Interestingly, however, the data presented here indicate that neither of these switch types is consistently constrained beyond the rules of the monolingual grammars involved. It is therefore suggested that Australian code-switching patterns might be better examined through studies of the relative frequencies—rather than occurrence/non-occurrence—of different code-switch types.
|Title of host publication
|Oxford Guide to Australian Languages
|Oxford University Press
|Published - 2023