Code-switching or lexical borrowing: Numerals in Chasu language of rural Tanzania


  • Rafiki Yohana Sebonde University of Dodoma



Chasu, Code-switching, Lexical borrowing, Ethnic Community Languages


This paper addresses the complexity in distinguishing the forms of code-switching, particularly single lexeme switches, from lexical borrowing through an analysis of the numerical system in Chasu language of Same District in Kilimanjaro Tanzania. The study of language contact in this context was conducted in a multilingual rural community wherein three languages co-exist; that is Chasu the host language, English and Swahili the donor languages. Borrowed and code-switched items are all features of bilingualism which appear to be identical in their initial stage, but with different endings. Despite these distinguishing criteria, it has been difficult to ascertain whether certain forms especially single lexemes from Swahili to Chasu can either be classified as code-switched or lexical borrowings.




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